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    From the perspective of people who categorize music by genres and types, Evan Shornstein, better-known under his production moniker Photay, has created lots of different kinds of sounds over the past decade. There’s the Hudson Valley-raised, Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist composer’s quasi-IDM and electronic almost-pop tracks with the occasional vocal; the improvised organic and and experimental music sessions he participates in alongside new age giants, Laraaji and Carlos Niño; the diaspora electronic folk-jazz he makes with veteran musicians from all over the globe; and the disco and house adjacent records he tag-team DJs with Brooklyn producer Cesar Toribio and engineer Phil Moffa (who also masters all of Photay’s records — and those of dance-music dons around the world). But if you’ve listened closely to Shornstein’s prodigious output, you know that separating and classifying the work is actually contrary to the energy of Photay music. That what on-the-surface may lazily appear as differences, is actually brought together by a shared sonic warmth, a hardware pastoralism at play. Whatever category he engages, Photay makes outdoor music under the spell of the elements, for the purpose of different human movements — some physical, some spiritual, some emotional, some philosophical.


    1. Forecast
    2. Global Wind Trade
    3. Air Lock
    4. Zephyr
    5. Derecho
    6. Barely There
    7. Thermal Loop
    8. Low Pressure System
    9. Still Existing


    I Killed Your Dog

      Multi-instrumentalist, composer, performer and curator L’Rain (Taja Cheek) returns with her third album I Killed Your Dog. Over-writing themes of grief and identity that informed her previous work, I Killed Your Dog considers what it means to hurt the people you love the most. Multi-layered in subject and form, L’Rain’s sonic explorations interrogate instead how multiplicities of emotion and experience intersect with identity. The experimental and the hyper-commercial; the expectation and the reality; the hope and the despair. “I’m envisioning a world of contradictions, as always,” Cheek explains. “Sensual, maybe even sexy, but terrifying, and strange.” Written amidst heartbreaks from the perspective of an earned maturity, I Killed Your Dog takes the sonic world laid out by L’Rain in 2021’s album Fatigue on a compelling new trajectory. Described by Cheek as an “anti-break-up” record, I Killed Your Dog takes the universal pop theme of love as its starting point – bold, bratty and even a touch diabolical – and inspects it through the form of a conversation with her younger self, untangling her relationship with femininity and the formal musical conventions that others have come to expect of her. Alongside long-time collaborators Andrew Lappin and Ben Chapoteau-Katz, Cheek has developed L’Rain into a shape-shifting entity that blurs the distinction between band and individual


      1. Sometimes
      2. Sincerity Commercial
      3. R(EMOTE)
      4. Our Funeral
      5. Uncertainty Principle
      6. Pet Rock
      7. Oh Wow A Bird
      8. I Hate My Best Friends
      9. Knead Bee
      10. I Killed Your Dog
      11. Monsoon Of Regret
      12. All The Days You Remember
      13. Clumsy
      14. 5 To 8 Hours A Day (WWwaG)
      15. What’s That Song?
      16. New Year’s UnResolution

      Devendra Banhart

      Flying Wig

        Flying Wig is an album of recurrent dualities; a can of paradoxes, a box of worms. The redwood and pine-surrounded cabin studio where Banhart was “constantly listening to The Grateful Dead” somehow birthed something slick, modernist, city pop-adjacent and Enoesque.

        Banhart's eleventh record, it's the actualisation of a “precious friendship” with the acclaimed solo artist, multi-instrumentalist, producer and Mexican Summer stable-mate Cate Le Bon — a coming together prophesied by the mirror-image titles of their early solo albums (Banhart’s 2002 Oh Me Oh My to Le Bon’s 2009 Me Oh My) and a tenderness built on crude haircuts (“we finally met, soon after she was cutting my hair with a fork and that was that”) and home-made tattoos — but never previously translated into the recording studio.

        “It’s about transmuting despair into gratitude, wounds into forgiveness, and grief into praise,” - the product of a ritualistic creative practice that melts down and re-casts as it mulls, the stuff of sadness beautified as it changes shape — culminating in a record that “sounds like getting a very melancholic massage, or weeping, but in a really nice outfit… if I’m going to cry, I wanna do it in my best dress.”


        Barry says: A silk-smooth melting pot of neo-soul, woozy Balearic and city pop, all topped with Banhart's syrupy vocals. There are hooks aplenty, but they sit beneath waves of reverb-drenched keys, guitar and bursts of trill brass.


        1. Feeling
        2. Fireflies
        3. Nun
        4. Sight Seer
        5. Sirens
        6. Charger
        7. Flying Wig
        8. Twin
        9. May
        10. The Party

        Natural Wonder Beauty Concept (DJ Python & Ana Roxanne)

        Natural Wonder Beauty Concept

          The life of the solo electronic artist is equal parts privilege and loneliness. You hurtle across the sky to spend a few hours in a dark club, behind the decks or on stage at the microphone. A brief grasp at transcendence, then the lights are on. Afterwards, you chat with friends you made last month, last year, or an hour ago. Back on the train, the plane. A couple weeks of this, then home. Repeat. It was against this backdrop that Ana Roxanne and DJ Python (Brian Piñeyro) struck up a singular friendship and collaboration, culminating in the shared musical language of their new project, Natural Wonder Beauty Concept.

          Brian and Ana met in New York City in the winter of 2020. They’d respectively put out critically acclaimed albums but due to extenuating global circumstances, the real-world implications of those records were yet to be seen. Ana’s debut LP, Because of a Flower, released in fall 2020, trades in both ethereality and directness, stretching timeless pop and R&B forms into shimmering ambient magic. When the Bay Area-born, Mills-trained artist sings, on record or live, time slows down and we enter a languorous yet ecstatic present. The second album from Queens-based deep reggaeton innovator DJ Python, Mas Amable, also subverts easy temporality. Released in spring 2020, Mas Amable floats in liminal space —not quite a dance record, a downtempo record, nor an ambient record—unfurling at a wistful pace, naturally suited for a strange period when each day felt the same yet wildly different.

          Well-loved albums aside, no one was playing shows, and a general listlessness and disconnection prevailed. Roxanne had recently moved to New York, and while the pair had previously interacted online and expressed admiration with each others’ work, they were now able to meet in person for the first time. A quiet understanding developed between the two artists on their initial hangs – they drove around the outskirts of NYC, listening to Telegram by Björk, HTRK, Portishead, all manner of melancholy acoustic indie songs. They pulled over in Filipino neighborhoods to eat. Periods of volubility were punctuated by silence, laughter interspersed with wide-eyed pondering. For Brian and Ana, studio experimentation was the instinctive extension of a friendship finding its feet.

          The duo’s preternatural communication was present from the start. In early, open-ended sessions at Gary’s Electric Studio in Greenpoint, they arrived on a moody, novel sound encompassing trip-hop, synth-pop, brittle IDM drums, and samples of classical music. Piñeyro threw out ideas at a breakneck pace. Ana impacted the sound with subtle, monumental chord shapes and textures, eventually singing over strange and beautiful beats. “There was lots of time to make music during the first year we worked on the project,” they remember. “The winter in New York felt quite vacuous, so we spent a lot of time reflecting on feeling too much and feeling nothing at all.”

          Then, after a heady start on a prospective album, the world reopened. Roxanne and Piñeyro parted ways for most of 2021. Ana embarked upon her first headlining tours across Europe, North America, and Australia, quietly commanding large rooms. Python was a fixture in the sleepless European electronic club circuit. Ana moved away from NYC and back to the Bay Area. Alone again, they experienced the exhilaration and fatigue of the road. Their lives, and the project, were in flux.

          After a smattering of sessions on the rare occasions they found themselves in the same city, Brian and Ana converged on Kranky label manager Brian Foote’s home studio in Los Angeles in the summer of 2022. They listened to tracks-in-progress while driving through the hills at night, lights flickering out in the expanse. The writing process was entirely collaborative. Ana sang, Brian sang. They dashed off lyrics together, reflecting an increasingly shared mental state. “You me you / falling in deeper blue / running through a circle that surrounds you / mango jelly flowers all around you.” Later that fall, the duo traveled back to Brooklyn for a last round of sessions with engineer and producer Al Carlson (Oneohtrix Point Never, Jessica Pratt). Their longtime friend CZ Wang (Parquet Courts, Huerco S.) mixed and finalized the songs in early 2023, and then a name for the project materialized. Natural Wonder Beauty Concept was “something Ana saw in the universe.”

          The self-titled album does not resemble the previous work of either artist – Ana’s celebrated ~~~ EP and album; Piñeyro’s various releases as DJ Python and DJ Wey or his recent EP with Ela Minus. Instead, it’s a sui generis work built block by block over two years. It’s the longest DJ Python has ever worked on a record, and the shortest period of time Ana has ever dedicated to a project. Early on in Natural Wonder Beauty Concept, we hear Python singing for the first time, over a woozy, Actress-influenced beat. He’s a portrait of alienation. “Isn’t it strange that I kind of feel nothing at all,” he muses. Ana responds to Python’s call: “Wouldn’t you say that I’m a person… giving you the time…” By the song’s conclusion, Roxanne’s vocals are an enveloping force over a lilting street bass. “The project gave us a creative license of freedom,” the pair say. “It was an opportunity to try anything out, whatever we happened to be feeling or influenced by.” Python and Ana are both known for bittersweet, contemplative electronic music that feels like a companion in quiet times. With their new project, the two artists have found their natural, if unexpected, counterparts. Natural Wonder Beauty Concept is the sound of two brilliant artists learning to be alone, together


          1. Fallen Angel - Ana Roxanne
          2. Sword - Ana Roxanne
          3. III - Natural Wonder Beauty Concept
          4. The Veil I - Natural Wonder Beauty Concept
          5. Natural Wonder Beauty Concept - DJ Python
          6. The Veil II - Ana Roxanne
          7. Young Adult Fiction - Ana Roxanne
          8. Driving - Natural Wonder Beauty Concept
          9. Clear - DJ Python
          10. World Freehand Circle Drawing - Ana Roxanne

          No Joy

          Wait To Pleasure - 10th Anniversary Edition

            To mark its ten year anniversary, Mexican Summer presents a new, limited edition pressing of No Joy’s classic album Wait to Pleasure expanded with two new tracks from the beloved band's original line up. Wait To Pleasure is the product of the Montreal noise-pop band’s first foray in a fullyfurnished studio environment. Here the band has flourished, delivering their finest set to date, rooted heavily in shoegaze ripcurls and devastating melody, finishing sentences whispered long ago with depth, variance and force. Singer-guitarists Jasamine White-Gluz and Laura Lloyd and drummer Garland Hastings knock down the fence between nostalgiaand modernity, chaos and control, in a perfectly- realized effort made to bridge their uncompromised musical pasts with the alarmist tendencies of the present. Wait To Pleasure found No Joy set loose in Mexican Summer’s studio, Gary’s Electric, for two weeks in 2012, with producer Jorge Elbrecht at the helm. “Our earlier records are purely guitar-based, rock band lineups,” Laura adds, “and with Wait To Pleasure we seized the opportunity to change things up a bit.”

            TRACK LISTING

            1. E
            2. Hare Tarot Lies
            3. Prodigy
            4. Slug Night
            5. Blue Neck Riviera
            6. Lizard Kids
            7. Lunar Phobia
            8. Wrack Attack
            9. Ignored Pets
            10. Pleasure
            11. Uhy Yuoi Yoi
            12. Dorion (Bonus Track)
            13. Beauty (Bonus Track)

            Jess Williamson

            Time Ain't Accidental

              After recently releasing the critically-acclaimed Plains album (I Walked With You A Ways) with Katie Crutchfield of Waxahatchee, Jess Williamson’s Time Ain’t Accidental is the sound of a woman running into her life and art head-on. With a vocal dynamic kindred to Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, Williamson blends the emotional immediacy and story-telling of traditional country with the artful, wholly honest transmissions of songwriters like Townes Van Zandt and Terry Allen. The album's reckoning with loss, isolation, romance, and personal reclamation signals both a stylistic and tectonic shift for Williamson: from someone who once made herself small to an artist emboldened by her power as an individual.

              TRACK LISTING

              1. Time Ain’t Accidental
              2. Hunter
              3. Chasing Spirits
              4. Tobacco Two Step
              5. God In Everything
              6. A Few Seasons
              7. Topanga Two Step
              8. Something’s In The Way
              9. Stampede
              10. I’d Come To Your Call
              11. Roads

              Mega Bog

              End Of Everything

                End of Everything is the intrepid seventh album from Mega Bog, a nightmarish experimental pop ensemble led by Erin Elizabeth Birgy. In 2020, Birgy was surrounded by seemingly endless turmoil: mass death, a burning planet, and a personal reckoning when past traumas met fresh ones. Living in Los Angeles, against the backdrop of brilliantly horrifying forest fires, she questioned what perspective to use moving forward in such dumbfounded awe. Deciding to seize something tangible, she produced a record that spoke of surrender, of mourning, and support in the face of tumultuous self-reflection.

                Writing on piano and synthesizer, instead of the familiar guitar, Birgy explored a spectrum of new sounds to illuminate a state of volatility and flux that was both universal and personal. Speaking of this transition, she describes the need “to feel… instantly. I didn’t want to dig into secret codes. I no longer wanted to hide behind difficult music. I was curious to give others the same with the music I create; to make music someone could use to explore drama, playfulness, and dancing, to shake the trauma loose.” Heavy grooves, metal guitar squeals, Italo disco bass lines, rhapsodic synth layers, and huge choruses stomp around the delightfully sanguine pop drama. Where previous records stretched out into the abstract and ethereal, End of Everything delivers a hit straight to collective awareness and healing.

                A seemingly disparate jukebox of sounds – ranging from Thin Lizzy, Bronski Beat, Franco Battiato and Ozzy Osbourne to 90’s house classics like Haddaway’s ‘What is Love’ and Corona's ‘Rhythm of the Night’ - foregrounded a new punchy theatricality in Birgy’s music. The songs she was creating at home followed suit with bolder hooks and more dancefloor energy than she’d ever dared before.

                While an ecological narrative is clear with songs like “Anthropocene” lamenting a blazing atmosphere—“City skies turn black in the daytime / I see a burnt up alligator / What the fuck?”—End of Everything is an incredibly personal record, charting a journey through Birgy’s own psyche. Midway through producing the record, Birgy made the personally necessary choice to get sober and work through stored debilitating experiences that had begun affecting her ability to communicate creatively.

                Thrilling melodies grow to ascend throughout the length of a song, clutching your hand and whispering in your ear one minute before screaming off a cliff edge the next. The soft and the guttural nuzzle and crash of heads, where every moment holds the multitudes of all possible dimensions stirring each other through the veil.

                TRACK LISTING

                1. Cactus People
                2. The Clown
                3. Love Is
                4. Don't Doom Me, Now
                5. All And Everything
                6. Anthropocene
                7. Complete Book Of Roses
                8. End Of Everything


                Hiding In Plain Sight

                  The third and most seasoned Drugdealer album, Hiding In Plain Sight, almost didn't happen at all. Frustrated and insecure with his own singing voice prior to the pandemic, Drugdealer founder and primary songwriter Michael Collins was nearly ready to throw in the towel. While attending Mexican Summer's annual Marfa Myths festival, a chance encounter with artist and composer Annette Peacock changed his outlook. Collins says, "I told her my plight, then I played her a song, and she told me I wasn't singing high enough for my speaking voice. When I returned to LA, I started coming up with new progressions, which I'd modulate up three half steps. It forced me to find a new way to sing."

                  Taking inspiration from a canon of gruff but soulful rock vocalists like Phil Lynott, Nick Lowe, or even Van Morrison, Collins looks back on his nocturnal meanderings through LA's warrens of bars and clubs. He’s right up front in the mix, detailing a search for love in all the wrong places. AM Gold, down-hard love songs, cosmic country and Rhodes-driven grooves result in the most joyful and fully-realized Drugdealer album to date. Hiding In Plain Sight is the sound of Michael Collins and Drugdealer getting their groove back with guests including Tim Presley, Kate Bollinger, Bambina, Sasha Winn, Sean Nicholas Savage, Video Age, and John Carroll Kirby.

                  TRACK LISTING

                  SIDE A
                  1. Madison
                  2. Baby (ft. Tim Presley)
                  3. Someone To Love
                  4. Pictures Of You (ft. Kate Bollinger)
                  5. New Fascination
                  SIDE B
                  1. Valentine
                  2. To Live And Drive In LA
                  3. Hard Dreaming Man
                  4. Posse Cut (ft. Bambina, Sedona, Sean Nicholas Savage)


                  Shake The Feeling: Outtakes & Rarities 2015-2021

                    Shake The Feeling: Outtakes & Rarities 2015-2021, Iceage's second full length for Mexican Summer, is a collection of non-LP cuts (or “misfit children,” as lead singer Elias Bender Rønnenfelt describes them) from the seven years during which Iceage made Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014), Beyondless (2018), and Seek Shelter (2021). As with all of Iceage’s albums, whether it be the sensual daring-do of their dark-hardcore masterpiece debut, the Flying Nun-dappled “Oi!!!!” of You’re Nothing, the shift to cowpunk gothic romanticism on Plowing Into the Field of Love, or the space truckin’ gospel-rock of their most recent albums, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Johan Suurballe Wieth, Jakob Tvilling Pless and Dan Kjær Nielsen make the impossible seem effortless.


                    En Är För Mycket Och Tusen Aldrig Nog

                      Dungen, torch bearers of Sweden’s rich and fabled history of pastoral psychedelia, return with En Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog, the band’s first full-length album since 2015’s Allas Sak. Creating their own critical and fervent, fan-based lane for guitar-powered, melodic and magisterial rock ‘n’ roll when their 2004 album Ta Det Lugnt broke down, and though, global barriers, Dungen have since left a staggering array of albums, and a prodigious live presence, in the embers of their burning wake. En Är För Mycket och Tusen Aldrig Nog (English translation: "One is too much and a thousand is never enough") finds Dungen’s core four members Gustav Ejstes, Reine Fiske, Mattias Gustavsson, and Johan Holmegard in pure form, their now decades deep collaboration in total focus and elevated to new heights unobstructed by the spirits that once haunted and shaped the band’s music.

                      TRACK LISTING

                      1. Skövde
                      2. Om Det Finns Något Som Du Vill Fråga Mig
                      3. Nattens Sista Strimma Ljus
                      4. Möbler
                      5. Höstens Färger
                      6. Var Har Du Varit?
                      7. Klockan Slår Den Är Mycket Nu
                      8. En Är För Mycket Och Tusen Aldrig Nog
                      9. Om Natten


                      New Pleasures

                        Arp, a.k.a. Alexis Georgopoulos, makes his anticipated return to Mexican Summer with the second chapter in his ZEBRA trilogy. New Pleasures advances the narrative begun with 2018’s acclaimed ZEBRA; pastoral in mood, expansive in style, the record acted as a dawn on a nascent, Edenic landscape, reminiscent of a beautiful, long-lost Fourth World album. In this world, the music approximated the patient cadence of geological time – the way time suspends when you watch a river in motion. There was, nonetheless, the presence of something alien on the horizon. Now, Arp drops us deep into the grid of the city. (Or is it a complex lattice of microchips?) New Pleasures fast-forwards a few centuries, locating listeners in a post-industrial Sprawl (to borrow an expression from William Gibson’s Neuromancer) of concrete and glass, imbuing the album with the flinty glow of commerce, the sleek rhythms of industrialization, and the cool finesse of brutalism. The result is a collection of futuristic pop interiors with glinted exteriors; a prismatic inquiry into machine sentience, the economy of desire, and myriad forms of possession – a dystopian response to ZEBRA’s idyllic naturalism. Canny and time-bending, Georgopoulos sculpts angularities into fresh, alluring shapes, expanding and contracting song form into brain-teasing sound design. The sensation the music offers is almost rubbery; it makes you feel as if you could flex, bend and squeeze your body inside out – a vivid, deconstructed take on high-definition pop, avant-garde, and dance music forms.

                        TRACK LISTING

                        1. The Peripheral
                        2. Plaza
                        3. New Pleasures
                        4. Le Palace
                        5. Traitor (Dub)
                        6. Preset Gloss
                        7. Sponge (for Miyake)
                        8. Embassy Disco
                        9. Eniko
                        10. Cloud Storage
                        11. I: /o

                        Cate Le Bon


                          Pompeii, Cate Le Bon’s sixth full-length studio album and the follow up to 2019’s Mercury nominated Reward, bears a storied title summoning apocalypse, but the metaphor eclipses any “dissection of immediacy,” says Le Bon. Not to downplay her nod to disorientation induced by double catastrophe - global pandemic plus climate emergency’s colliding ecotraumas resonate all too eerily. “What would be your last gesture?” she asks. But just as Vesuvius remains active, Pompeii reaches past the current crises to tap into what Le Bon calls “an economy of time warp” where life roils, bubbles, wrinkles, melts, hardens, and reconfigures unpredictably, like lava - or sound, rather. Like she says in the opener, “Dirt on the Bed,” Sound doesn’t go away / In habitual silence / It reinvents the surface / Of everything you touch.

                          Pompeii is sonically minimal in parts, and its lyrics jog between self-reflection and direct address. Vulnerability, although “obscured,” challenges Le Bon’s tendencies towards irony. Written primarily on bass and composed entirely alone in an “uninterrupted vacuum,” Le Bon plays every instrument (except drums and saxophones) and recorded the album largely by herself with long-term collaborator and co-producer Samur Khouja in Cardiff, Wales. Enforced time and space pushed boundaries, leading to an even more extreme version of Le Bon's studio process – as exits were sealed, she granted herself “permission to annihilate identity.” “Assumptions were destroyed, and nothing was rejected” as her punk assessments of existence emerged.

                          Enter Le Bon’s signature aesthetic paradox: songs built for Now miraculously germinate from her interests in antiquity, philosophy, architecture, and divinity’s modalities. Unhinged opulence rests in sonic deconstruction that finds coherence in pop structures, and her narrativity favors slippage away from meaning. In “Remembering Me,” she sings: In the classical rewrite / I wore the heat like / A hundred birthday cakes / Under one sun. Reconstituted meltdowns, eloquently expressed. This mirrors what she says about the creative process: “as a changeable element, it’s sometimes the only point of control… a circuit breaker.” She’s for sure enlightened, or at least more highly evolved than the rest of us. Hear the last stanza on the album closer, “Wheel”: I do not think that you love yourself / I’d take you back to school / And teach you right / How to want a life / But, it takes more time than you’d tender. Reprimanding herself or a loved one, no matter: it’s an end note about learning how to love, which takes a lifetime and is more urgent than ever.

                          To leverage visionary control, Le Bon invented twisted types of discipline into her absurdist decision making. Primary goals in this project were to mimic the “religious” sensibility in one of Tim Presley’s paintings, which hung on the studio wall as a meditative image and was reproduced as a portrait of Le Bon for Pompeii’s cover. Fist across the heart, stalwart and saintly: how to make “music that sounds like a painting?” Cate asked herself. Enter piles of Pompeii’s signature synths made on favourites such as the Yamaha DX7, amongst others; basslines inspired by 1980s Japanese city pop, designed to bring joyfulness and abandonment; vocal arrangements that add memorable depth to the melodic fabric of each song; long-term collaborator Stella Mozgawa’s “jazz-thinking” percussion patched in from quarantined Australia; and Khouja’s encouraging presence.

                          The songs of Pompeii feel suspended in time, both of the moment and instant but reactionary and Dada-esque in their insistence to be playful, satirical, and surreal. From the spirited, strutting bass fretwork of “Moderation”, to the sax-swagger of “Running Away”; a tale exquisite in nature but ultimately doomed (The fountain that empties the world / Too beautiful to hold), escapism lives as a foil to the outside world. Pompeii’s audacious tribute to memory, compassion, and mortal salience is here to stay.

                          TRACK LISTING

                          SIDE A
                          1. Dirt On The Bed
                          2. Moderation
                          3. French Boys
                          4. Pompeii
                          5. Harbour
                          SIDE B
                          1. Running Away
                          2. Cry Me Old Trouble
                          3. Remembering Me
                          4. Wheel



                            For Andy and Edwin White, the brothers behind Orlando’s Tonstartssbandht, a song is a living, breathing thing. Through constant touring, the Whites’ songs both take shape and change shape, becoming something a little different every night as they explore the possibilities inherent within them. With time, attention, and intention, these songs—long, languid, full of open musical questions and temporary answers—become distinct objects, and the process begins again. On Petunia, Tonstartssbandht’s 18th album and second for Mexican Summer, they bring us to the earliest moments of this process, showing off a barn full of hatchlings already decked with splendid plumage. Using little more than a 12-string guitar and a drum kit, Andy and Edwin weave together the gentle headiness of Laurel Canyon and the sweaty pacing of Cologne; like a gyroscope, its constant motion produces the illusion of stillness—and that stillness gives it a sense of intimacy and introspection, something that’s further illuminated by the new emphasis placed on the brothers’ vocals. It allows the quiet wisdom of the lyrics—what Andy self-deprecatingly calls “generic broad platitudes that I still think resonate when I say them”—to slip in almost unnoticed, delivering their emotional truths while preparing a feather bed for you to collapse into.

                            “All roads will lead to the heart of town, when you’ve been running too long,” he sings in the album’s opening moments. “Being at peace only slows you down, but you’ve been running so long now.” If Petunia feels like a journey in the direction of peace, that, too, is a reflection of how it was made—the entire thing was written and recorded in Orlando in 2020, rather than pieced together in spurts over the years. This is an album built on level ground that shows what can happen when the artistic environment is stable, even while the world’s environment is anything but. Petunia is not Tonstartssbandht’s definitive statement on these songs, because how could it be? But it is a portrait of Andy and Edwin White at home in Florida, an artfully staged landscape rich in detail, its winding passages and airy environment waiting to be explored.

                            TRACK LISTING

                            1. Pass Away
                            2. Falloff
                            3. Magic Pig
                            4. Hey Bad
                            5. What Has Happened
                            6. All Of My Children
                            7. Smilehenge

                            Hayden Pedigo

                            Letting Go

                              Hayden Pedigo is an acoustic guitarist and soundscape composer from Amarillo, Texas. Perhaps most widely known for his endearing bid for Amarillo city council at the tender age of 25, after his Harmony Korine inspired spoof campaign video went viral. Hayden's music is equally enchanting, combining the American primitive guitar picking styles of John Fahey with a proclivity for experimental sound design and manipulation.

                              By his early 20s, Hayden had already collaborated with luminaries such as Charles Hayward of This Heat, Fred Frith, Werner Diermaier of Faust, and outlaw country legend, Terry Allen. However it's important to expect the unexpected with Hayden Pedigo.

                              With album artwork that depicts black metal connotations and a sworn hater of the term "Cosmic Country", Hayden's satirical sense of humour extends from the various characters he portrays on his Instagram page and into every fibre of his being.

                              'Kid Candidate', a 67 minute documentary made about Hayden's Amarillo City Council bid (dir. Jasmine Stodel) will be digitally released on July 2 2021 by production company and distributor, Gunpowder & Sky. It made its worldwide film festival premiere at SXSW 2021 and will be released on blu-ray in September 2021. Music from Letting Go also features in Kid Candidate.

                              TRACK LISTING

                              1. Letting Go
                              2. Carthage
                              3. Something Absolute
                              4. Some Kind Of Shepherd
                              5. Tints Of Morning
                              6. I Wasn't Dreaming
                              7. Rained Like Hell



                                Brooklyn-born and based experimentalist and multi-instrumentalist Taja Cheek, aka L’Rain, is mapping the enormity of how to change. Her forthcoming second album, Fatigue, demands introspection from ready ears with an array of keyboards, synths, and hauntingly delicate vocals that create a genre entirely her own. Cheek has dipped her toes in every corner of the arts, through her work at some of the most prestigious art institutions in NYC and collaborations with the likes of Naama Tsabar, Kevin Beasley, Justin Allen, and others in contemporary arts. How do we think through, express for, attest to, commit within and embody a substantive change for ourselves? How do we enact change in the company of others? What does it mean to internally engage with an abolition politic? These questions compose and propel the sonic energy of Fatigue. Over the course of 14 tracks, L’Rain continues her careful plotting of where we travel when cruising along the side alleys and major roads of an emotional city. Fatigue progresses the psychic collage assembled from her self-titled debut. Fatigue, while still cycling the wheel of grief, veers into the self-reckoning of holding emotional multiplicities that do not and cannot remain static.

                                TRACK LISTING

                                1. Kill Self
                                2. Fly, Die
                                3. Not Now
                                4. Find It
                                5. Two Face
                                6. Round Sun
                                7. Walk Through
                                8. Blame Me
                                9. I V
                                10. Black Clap
                                11. Suck Teeth
                                12. Need Be
                                13. Take Two
                                14. Love Her


                                Seek Shelter

                                  With each new release, Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, Jakob Tvilling Pless, Johan Surrballe Wieth and Dan Kjær Nielsen refigure the contours of a typical Iceage song. This is especially true of Seek Shelter, their fifth LP and first for Mexican Summer. Enrolling Sonic Boom (Pete Kember of Spacemen 3) to produce the record and an additional guitarist in the form of Casper Morilla Fernandez, Seek Shelter sees Iceage’s propulsive momentum pushing them in new, expansive, ecstatic directions. A decade on from their first record, Iceage continue to harness their lives together through music. This journey, in music and life, has never progressed in a linear fashion.

                                  Seek Shelter is the sound of a tight emotional core unwound. Rain dripped through cracks in the ceiling of Namouche, the dilapidated wood-panelled Lisbon radio studio of a 1960s vintage where the band set up for 12 days. The band had to arrange their equipment around puddles. Pieces of cloth covered slowly filling buckets so that the sound of raindrops wouldn’t reach the microphones. Kember arranged garden lamps from a nearby party store for mood lighting in the high-ceiling space. It was the longest time Iceage have ever spent making an album. When the rain had stopped, Seek Shelter revealed itself as a collection of songs radiating warmth and a profound desire for salvation in a world that’s spinning further and further out of control.

                                  Iceage started making music together in 2008 as young teens in their hometown of Copenhagen. The band’s 2011 debut New Brigade, crystallized the raucous energy and unbreakable brotherhood of Danish teenagers weaned on post-punk, hardcore and no wave, and it found ears and kin around the world. 2012’s You’re Nothing was hard, fast and raw, a bold doubling-down on the aggression of youth in the first record as well as the weight of expectation. Plowing Into the Field of Love (2014) and Beyondless (2018) saw a softening of the band’s hardest edges and the arrival of a certain world-weary vaudeville in the Iceage sound. In an extraordinary and unexpected run, the band had gone from the fertile hyperlocal Copenhagen scene to stages all over the world. Iceage’s past two records — all filtered twangy guitar riffs, sparse piano arrangements, and slinky, slow-moving rhythms — ventured into an intoxicated but knowing swirl, surveying the party at the end of the night. They’d seen it all, at least once, and their music rode the crest of that chaos.

                                  Seek Shelter, the band’s first record made with an outside producer brought in alongside longtime collaborator Nis Bysted, is the place they have been called to next. Elias Bender Rønnenfelt casts the influence of producer Sonic Boom as that of a sparring partner, another wayward mind to bounce ideas off of and another pair of hands (along with Shawn Everett, who mixed the record) to help shape the sound. Kember had said in an interview that he’d like to produce for the band, and the feeling was mutual. Rønnenfelt recalls being 12 or 13, listening to Spacemen 3, the band Kember co-founded in 1982 at the age of 16. “It was one of those things that just reverberated with my being,” he explains. For Seek Shelter, “we wanted a partner that had some noise that we didn’t have, more a wizard than a producer. We thought he’d be that kind of wizard for us, and we were right — he came in with a truckload of strange equipment that we’d never seen before.” Kember, reflecting on the session and reaching for his highest praise, describes Iceage as “fucking show offs, like everyone who was ever great and emotional and honest.”

                                  For Seek Shelter’s story of scorched-earth salvation, the band’s songwriting embraces conventional structures more conspicuously than it has in the past. The dirge-like drone that opens the record gives way to a wall of reverb that sounds fuller and brighter than anything they've committed to tape, signalling a clarity of clouds breaking. American gospel and blues signatures break to the front of the slow-grooving “Vendetta” and harmonica-flecked “Gold City,” a record which sounds like the road, a desert mission under a blazing sun. The Lisboa Gospel Collective, who joined the band for two tracks on the final day in the studio, provide a new scale to Rønnenfelt’s incantations. There are moments of unvarnished romanticism, as on the brisk Jacques Brel-like “Drink Rain,” and an overcast tenderness that gently glides over “Love Kills Slowly.” The massive “High & Hurt” interpolates “Will the Circle Be Unbroken,” a warhorse of the American religious vernacular that has become an increasingly urgent plea over the past century. It’s not the only anthem that calls out to the heavens: later on, Rønnenfelt invokes the patron saint of music and poetry on “Dear Saint Cecilia,” a song for seekers everywhere. “Writing a song is like trying to find a space where you can make something that’s been riled up and down through the years feel like it belongs to your present moment,” says Rønnenfelt. “It’s all just scaffolding that you can project something onto.”

                                  Rønnenfelt’s lyricism reaches grand heights despite its classic opacity — he sings of taking shelter, of tranquil affections that threaten to combust, and of a limp-wristed god with a cavalcade of devotees in search of relief. His expressionist imagery consistently hinges on the divine, a natural result of his desire to take a kernel of ordinary emotion and, as he explains, “blow it up like a balloon.” For Seek Shelter, as with all Iceage’s previous albums, Rønnenfelt stowed away for a set period of weeks and wrote the lyrics in one shot. “I set a time just to make sure that all the lyrics are written from the same mindset,” he explains of these weeks alone. The lyrics stem from journals that he’s kept over the past few years: “it becomes an amalgamation of ideas and impressions of things that you’ve been provoked by or had to live through. You end up with something that is a rough, blurry perspective of what that period of time was like, a mishmash of personal struggle that is shaded throughout by a world that seems more transparent in its inherently cruel ways.” Romance and desire, as described in “Love Kills Slowly” and the album closer “The Holding Hand,” are feelings that stretch torturously — a race without a finish line.

                                  What precisely makes an Iceage song is still a mysterious thing, and the band wishes to maintain this protean quality. “If there’s ever a point in our history when something in the songs starts to seem easy but doesn’t really excite us that much, we just discard that shit right away,” he says. “You’ve always got to find a new vantage point to attack the assignment of writing a song. If we had a formula, it would be just a continuous watering down of what we do until we hated ourselves and quit.” With Seek Shelter, they’ve managed to hold onto this core of presence and risk while writing their most ambitious songs. Even Rønnenfelt was surprised with what they were able to create together. “I think when we started we were just lashing out completely blindfolded with no idea as to why we were doing anything.” He’s speaking of the new record and also of their entire existence as a band, a travelogue that has catapulted these four friends far past the horizons of punk. “Some of that we wanted to remain intact. We try to keep the mystery. If there's no sense of mystery in it for us, then it's not fun.” Seek Shelter is a record that now exists at a moment of a collective unknown, when every beating heart wonders what will happens next.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: There's an indescribable flow to Iceage's music, pulling in influence from classic rock, a sort of country swing and distorted melodicism you don't hear that much nowadays. In a way, it harks back to the heyday of 90's indie, full of energy and power-chord groove, but with a much more nuanced lilt. It's clever and confounding and endlessly replayable.

                                  TRACK LISTING

                                  Side A
                                  1. Shelter Song
                                  2. High & Hurt
                                  3. Love Kills Slowly
                                  4. Vendetta
                                  5. Drink Rain

                                  Side B
                                  6. Gold City
                                  7. Dear Saint Cecilia
                                  8. The Wider Powder Blue
                                  9. The Holding Hand

                                  Geneva Jacuzzi

                                  Lamaze - Reissue

                                    Lamaze is Geneva Jacuzzi’s 2010 debut—a full-length pressing of analog 4- track and 8-track recordings that document the development of her musical style from her first appearance in 2004 up to 2009. It is a selective introduction gleaned from a body of over 200 recorded tracks. The recordings from this period are largely synth pop songs that are typical minimalist constructions with dance floor tempos. Use of experimental recording techniques and varying arrays of equipment produce differing electronic atmospheres—soundcrafting in the spirit of Chrome, Devo, Cabaret Voltaire, and Gina-X. 

                                    There is also an exploration of format in her playful use of alternating theatrical interludes and instrumental treatments. Lamaze is essentially a collection of demos, which is an atypical debut, but it is among the first lo-fi pop recordings that became the lexicon of the emerging music frontier, today’s “hypnagogic” jukebox—chillwave, bedroom pop, witch house, vaporwave, and more. The sound of the future, but the present of Lamaze is a world that has vanished. The collection is venerated as canon among her devotees and has become a coveted relic among fans and collectors of pop artifacts and rarities.

                                    TRACK LISTING

                                    1. Do I Sad?
                                    2. Clothes On The Bed
                                    3. Nonsense Nonsense
                                    4. Love Stories
                                    5. Love Caboose
                                    6. Group Dynamic
                                    7. Future Past
                                    8. Bad Moods
                                    9. Runaway DNA
                                    10. Holograph
                                    11. Sandtrap
                                    12. Greek Ambassador
                                    13. Relay Racer
                                    14. Gray Wave City
                                    15. Zombie Shark

                                    Jack Name

                                    Magic Touch

                                      "His songs sound like memories, as familiar as they are foreign. I’m addicted to this record.” - Cate Le Bon. In a time rife with alienation, Magic Touch, the third album by the ubiquitous and mysterious Jack Name, offers the comfort of contact. With a body of work that ranges from the catchy to the cacophonous, Name has earned the reputation of a musician who’s difficult to define. For over a decade, he’s been a fixture in the Los Angeles underground. His songs have appeared on albums by U.S. Girls (Heavy Light, 2020) and White Fence (Family Perfume, 2012); he’s produced recordings for Cass McCombs and collaborated with Ariel Pink; and his experimental music has been performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

                                      Magic Touch reveals yet another side of Jack Name. While it’s every bit as intricate as his previous releases, 2014’s Light Show and 2015’s Weird Moons, here he’s done away with the dense production of his earlier work to make a record that feels stark, personal, and effortlessly natural. With Magic Touch, Name brings his lyrical and conceptual focus away from the dream worlds of his first two albums and back to Earth: a simpler place, or so it seems, where humans are falling in and out of love, struggling with loneliness, reaching for connections to each other, and, for better or worse, affecting each other. In a year like 2020, it’s a place that feels familiar and far away all at once. The almost subliminal story arc of Magic Touch reminds us that touch itself is magic.

                                      TRACK LISTING

                                      1. Karolina
                                      2. Do You Know Ida No?
                                      3. Having A Good Time
                                      4. A Moving-on Blues
                                      5. I Came To Tell You In Plain English
                                      6. Dudette
                                      7. Losing My Way
                                      8. Empty Nights
                                      9. Kick-around Johnny
                                      10. Sacred Place

                                      Weyes Blood

                                      Cardamom Times - 5th Anniversary Edition

                                        • On vinyl for the first time since its first sold-out pressing in 2015, the fifth anniversary of Weyes Blood’s (Natalie Mering) warm and elegiac record, Cardamom Times, is celebrated with a deluxe Dinked edition.

                                        • Since the EP’s release, Weyes Blood’s Front Row Seat to Earth (Mexican Summer, 2016) and Titanic Rising (Sub Pop, 2019) were both named Best New Albums by Pitchfork, with the latter making multiple Best Albums of 2019 lists, including The Guardian, Pitchfork, and The Independent. Different from these elaborate albums, Cardamom Times was recorded onto reel-to-reel tape at Mering’s home studio in Rockaway Beach, New York.

                                        • The songs of Cardamom Times demonstrate Mering’s reverence of devotional music and the avant-garde, channeling the domestic hymns of Sybille Baer through the lens of Baltimore’s experimental DIY scene; the minimal, melodic drones of Terry Riley accompanied by the voices of the Sacre Coeur; the confrontational words of Anaïs Nin along with the warm embrace of St. Augustine.

                                        • This anniversary edition of Cardamom Times features reimagined cover art with the focal image of a desolate paradise during sunset — Jamaica Bay in Queens, NY surrounded by rust. A couple is laying on the ground, caught in a comfort beyond time. With Cardamom Times, Mering invites listeners into that space of love and longing, struggle and change, surrounded by the decay of time that perpetually embraces us.

                                        TRACK LISTING

                                        01. Maybe Love
                                        02. Take You There
                                        03. Cardamom
                                        04. In The Beginning


                                        Waking Hours

                                          It's 2020, and everyone is exhausted. The world is falling apart, and then there's the day-today stress of just existing in the modern world. Keeping up with everything feels impossible, and we all feel that neverending push to always be productive, inspiration and motivation be damned. For NYC artist Photay (a.k.a. Evan Shornstein), none of this is particularly conducive to living a healthy existence, let alone being creative, but he's decided to face it head on.

                                          Waking Hours, his second full-length (following 2017's Onism), is a meditation on time and, more specifically, our obsessive need to fill every moment with activity. "It's about getting back to a really simple notion of just celebrating your existence and not necessarily attaching this huge story of who you are and what you do," he says. "It's about finding comfort in just being." Photay's search for calm is at the very core of Waking Hours, and while he admits that making the album was therapeutic, it shouldn't be mistaken for some sort of healing ambient excursion.

                                          The LP is largely electronic, but frequently verges on pop and extensively features Shornstein's own vocals. The music is intimate and inviting, but it also suggests that Photay is perhaps at his best when he's blurring genre boundaries. "I really truly love so many different types of music," he says, "and for this album I opened things up and gave myself the freedom to go anywhere."

                                          TRACK LISTING

                                          SIDE A
                                          1. Existential Celebration
                                          2. Warmth In The Coldest Acre
                                          3. Is It Right?
                                          4. Fanfare For 7.83 Hz
                                          5. Change In Real Time

                                          SIDE B

                                          1. The People
                                          2. Rhythm Research
                                          3. Pressure
                                          4. EST
                                          5. A Beautiful Silence Prevails


                                          Spiritual Vegas

                                            Having first made his mark as a songwriter and guitarist for Los Angeles’ Allah-Las, Pedrum Siadatian has etched out a place of his own with his solo work as PAINT. What started as modest 4-track experiments quickly took on a life of their own as Pedrum began distilling his musical and lyrical inspirations into something both timeless and new. His miniature menagerie of light-psych and proto-punk gems had outgrown their cassette cage and were now ready to be heard.

                                            PAINT’s eponymous debut (Mexican Summer, 2018) appeared out of the ether, fully formed. It was praised for its originality and drew favorable comparisons to the likes of Kevin Ayers, Lou Reed and Julian Cope. The mess was the message and the decidedly mid-fi production found Siadatian both honoring and eschewing tradition. The album was accompanied by videos for the singles “Daily Gazette” and “Moldy Man,” both directed by Sam Kristofski (Connan Mockasin, Pond), with select performances in North America, UK, and Europe.

                                            This year sees PAINT returning with the release of the ambitious Spiritual Vegas. While Ray Davies-smirks and Kevin Ayers-wit abound, Siadatian’s singular touch is unmistakable. Joined once again by producer / engineer Frank Maston at the helm, Spiritual Vegas features a rogue’s gallery of players with performances by Jackson Macintosh (TOPS, Sheer Agony) on bass and guitar, Nick Murray (White Fence, Oh Sees) on drums, and brothers-in-Las Spencer Dunham and Matt Correia on bass and percussion respectively.

                                            The production is a clear departure from PAINT’s debut- with an increased clarity and tonal variety, drawing inspiration from 80’s/90’s art-rock like The Meat Puppets and The Magnetic Fields.

                                            “Ta Fardah” (Til Tomorrow) is an early standout. Sung in Farsi, a nod to Siadatian’s Iranian heritage, it’s a crate digger’s dream — channeling 70’s Persian funk melodrama that might have been a nightclub dancefloor hit in pre-revolution Tehran. On “Landman” we hear Siadatian protest all things aquatic, despite social pressures to the contrary. He sings “I’m no Toucan Sam-man, in some guitar jam band” on this Kinks-y ode to land-locked life, complete with “bah bah bah” harmonies and a tropical marimba line.

                                            The record closes with the minimalist jazz of “Impressions.” It centers on a moody keyboard figure as lazy jazz guitar, sax, and flute solos weave in and out. Both melancholy and triumphant, “Impressions” is a fitting end to an album that explores both feelings and posits they might actually be the same.

                                            The title Spiritual Vegas was inspired by a visit to Bali, Indonesia, where Siadatian was struck by the juxtaposition of tourists seeking either Instagram enlightenment or Vegas-like debauchery. Is there really a difference? Awakening comes in many forms and as Siadatian intones on opener “Strange World,” “the moment you find laughter’s the key/ the sooner you’ll be free” — a fortune cookie philosophy for both the record and the world at large.

                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                            Barry says: Paint are an entrancing proposition, a mid-heavy juxtaposition of psychedelic jangling and hypnotic repetitive art-rock. Brilliantly absorbing, and comfortingly odd.

                                            TRACK LISTING

                                            1 Intro (Phor Phaedra)
                                            2 Strange World
                                            3 Grape St.
                                            4 Lanolin
                                            5 Flying Fox
                                            6 Ta Fardah
                                            7 Why Not, Tick Tock?
                                            8 Meet Me (In St. Lucia)
                                            9 Land Man
                                            10 Tongue Tied
                                            11 Ballad Of Adelaide
                                            12 Well Of Memory/ODAAT
                                            13 Impressions
                                            14 Outro (The Lines I Drew)


                                            Confusing Mix Of Nations

                                              CMON is the new recording project of Josh da Costa and Jamen Whitelock. Even as they established themselves as integral members of New York’s DIY scene with their band Regal Degal, da Costa and Whitelock were acutely aware of how closed off they had become. As Regal Degal mounted its final tour, with clubs pushing their set times earlier and earlier to make space for the DJs who followed da Costa and Whitelock took notes. “We were definitely getting swept further from where we wanted to be and the excitement we wanted to portray,” Whitelock says. “There’s such joy in going out and dancing that was completely missing in a lot of shows, especially in New York. Nobody wants to move, everyone’s too self-conscious. But when you go to the club, everyone’s in it—you just want to dance, and that’s all that matters.”

                                              The community potential and the promise of physical liberation that came with dance music spoke loudly to both da Costa and Whitelock, and following the dissolution of Regal Degal, da Costa set up a new life for himself in Los Angeles—a steady relationship, a pet bird, a car —and got down to work with a copy of Ableton. Back in New York, his head spun by DJ Rashad, Whitelock was learning to program, too. They kept their line of communication open, and eventually Whitelock started making the cross-country trek to work and record with his old bandmate. They mined the sound they established with Regal Degal, applying their old band’s heavy atmospherics and melancholy soul to four-on-the-floor rhythm grids and smoothed-out guitar lines, taking production cues from EBM and AOR in equal measure. If Confusing Mix of Nations is a tour of anything, though, it’s not countries so much as psychic spaces.

                                              Each of its ten tracks feels like a postcard from an aesthetic territory worth returning to. Opener “Coo” begins with locked-in grooves reminiscent of Drugdealer (for whom da Costa drums) or Mild High Club, until it suddenly gives itself over to a rhythm that’s been chattering away in the back of the track. As da Costa and Whitelock follow its hints, “Coo” suddenly inverts its priorities and sounds like Miami bass all leaned out for Halloween, then calmly returns to the opening groove, the only proof of the excursion an excess of delay on da Costa’s vocal. “Peter Pan” struts like it’s on its way to meet side two of Sandinista! in its verses, then glows with New Romantic shine in the chorus. The pop hooks on “Good to Know” feel like they could set off a festival crowd, but they’re offset by a strange hollow ache at the song’s center—a weird sadness that makes you feel a little bad for dancing to it.

                                              TRACK LISTING

                                              SIDE A

                                              1. Coo
                                              2. Good To Know
                                              3. Dreamfucking
                                              4. Celluloid
                                              5. Mindboggling

                                              SIDE B

                                              1. Peter Pan
                                              2. Sam
                                              3. Zoo
                                              4. Base
                                              5. Letdown


                                              Dungen Live

                                                Dungen Live is a document of a band playing with and beyond time, passionately reviving a slowly storied history of sound. A captivating ride captured and collaged from two shows in their native Sweden and assembled into one piece of continuous music by producer Matthias Glava. Dungen Live covers all the peaks and valleys, the moments of intuition and inspiration, and the cosmic connectivity between a family of musicians that makes each Dungen show a spiritual shift.

                                                The source material for Live was recorded, in late November 2015, at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg and Victoriateatern in Malmö. Joined by Swedish sax deity Jonas Kullhammar (who brought his skills to Allas Sak), these were undoubtedly some massive experiences. Live drops us into moments where Dungen’s right at the edge of the cliff, right at the point where they’re getting out of the time machine to bust into John Anthony’s studio right when Affinity is cutting their album for Vertigo, right at the point where you discover the break on a record that snaps into place over some hip hop track you’ve been listening to for years, and you play it over and over.

                                                Entirely instrumental (including a footstompin’ cover of Doug Jerebine’s “Ain’t So Hard to Tell” – check with our buds over at Drag City for the full story on that one), Live showcases what Dungen does best: create a vibe where none existed, build a mood out of circumstance, attack the music with a fan’s soul and a master’s scorching virtuosity. It extends moments out of their catalogue that seemed like they were already explored and breathes new life into them, at times graceful, at others rambunctious, and sometimes a little of both. It stirs memories of when those first import copies of Ta det lungt hit the record store, how we listened in awe and watched the customers turn around, that first shock of awareness, that anxiety over trying to take home what appeared

                                                Cate Le Bon & Bradford Cox

                                                Myths 004

                                                  As sure as if it had been mapped in the stars, or written in a prophecy buried deep beneath the sands of the Marfa desert, a collaboration between Cate Le Bon and Bradford Cox was always something of an inevitability.

                                                  Fourth in Mexican Summer’s Myths EP series (and following previous tie-ups between Dev Hynes and Connan Mockasin, Ariel Pink and Weyes Blood, and Dungen and Woods), Myths 004 sees Le Bon and Cox–each a much-revered musical innovator in their own right–finally united.

                                                  For both artists, Myths 004 signals a change of tack: meticulousness thrown to the wind as spontaneous, jammy tales of firemen and 5p plastic bags, unbrushed hair and shoelessness and makeup-daubed landscapes–all miraculously written and recorded in just one week– roll effortlessly off their cuffs.

                                                  Though this EP materialises after two individual 2019 album campaigns–Le Bon’s Mercurynominated fifth album Reward, and Cox’s eighth with his band Deerhunter, Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (which Le Bon co-produced)–the chronologies are tangled: Myths 004 is in fact a snapshot of the pair’s very first meeting. After years of admiring each other’s work from afar, Cox and Le Bon finally converged on Marfa, Texas in 2018, at Mexican Summer’s annual Marfa Myths music, visual art, and film festival.

                                                  “Marfa is an extraordinary town,” says Le Bon. “It feels like nothing else exists when you’re in it which is both comforting and unnerving.” In this otherworldly enclave, and with a band of frequent Cate Le Bon co-conspirators on hand to putty the gaps with drums, saxophone, percussion, keys, and additional guitar (Stella Mozgawa of Warpaint, Stephen Black of Sweet Baboo, and Samur Khouja), the EP was assembled whiplash-quick.

                                                  “Writing and recording in a week is a tall order - especially when such chemistry exists between all the musicians involved, and the possibilities are boundless,” Le Bon explains. “We committed ourselves to embracing the chaos, surrendering to all moments and moods that travelled through. It’s a crude holiday scrapbook shared by all involved, an amalgamation of the changes in mood and light that shaped the days.”

                                                  Indeed, Myths 004 is wondrous in its variety. On the opening song “Canto!”, Cox dons the illfitting leathers of an ageing biker and urges us to come ride with him, baby. He and Le Bon gaze into one another’s eyes with semi-serious sweetness as tough, wiry guitars stab through the romance.

                                                  Everything shrinks and softens on the EP’s sole single, the gently melancholic “Secretary,” as Le Bon and Cox spout verse over a mysterious percussive rhythm; perhaps made by miniature cymbals from a mantric parade, perhaps by someone rummaging in the cutlery drawer. Together, they combat the office humdrum of filing, answering the phone, and eating “the same old plastic lunch” with a surreal and beautiful daydream of “mascara brushed across the plains / all of the phone calls you made disconnected.”

                                                  Most freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulateMost freeform are the short instrumental interludes–the garage-y, hammily menacing “Companions in Misfortune,” could easily soundtrack a gang sauntering down an alleyway, whilst “Jericho” emulates a dog and a brass band falling down the stairs (with jazzy panache, thank you very much).

                                                  “Fireman” sees Le Bon and Cox cast themselves as postulating heroes, as in a flash of tongue-in-cheek, lyrical-comic wordplay, Cate sings “I am a fireman / putting out fires, man” and Bradford, in a low faux-macho drawl, rambles immodestly in the background about his fire-extinguishing prowess.

                                                  And final track “What Is She Wearing,” drips with cynicism, wit, and parody punk spirit as Le Bon lists universally relatable and not-so-nice, day-to-day shit: having to take the bins out, stepping in chewing gum, taking your jumper off when you’re wearing an ugly t-shirt underneath, finding dirt on the fork at a fancy restaurant, going to the supermarket and paying five pence for a plastic bag you don’t want. It wouldn’t be hard to believe that John Cale is sawing his bow across an electric guitar somewhere in the background as Le Bon lippily gripes: “I’m walking to get myself a croissant from the bakery / and everybody is looking at me as if I have committed a crime.”

                                                  But for all their twists and turns, Myths 004’s seven tracks sit perfectly alongside one another - each sounding simultaneously like a Bradford Cox song, and like a Cate Le Bon song. In the true spirit of collaboration, a feeling of sheer joy prevails, uniting the EP’s every shape, character, prang, plod and playful bite.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  SIDE A
                                                  1. Canto!
                                                  2. Secretary
                                                  3. Companions In Misfortune
                                                  4. Constance

                                                  SIDE B
                                                  1. Fireman
                                                  2. Jericho
                                                  3. What Is She Wearing

                                                  Allah Las have always been fascinated with both the carefree spirit and glitter-in-the-gutter lifestyle of their hometown LA. After three records mining its lore and lure (from the desert to the sea) and having taken their compact California on the road across the world, they couldn’t help but peek through the other end of the telescope.

                                                  On their fourth LP, drummer Matt Correia, bassist Spencer Dunham, and guitarists Miles Michaud and Pedrum Siadatian turn their collective gaze outward and toward the horizon. "We’ve been travelling a lot the past couple years and I think that played a role in influencing the broader variety of songs on this record” Correia explains. Simply titled LAHS (a reference to a common misspelling of the band’s name), their forthcoming release on Mexican Summer finds a band at the peak of their powers.

                                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                                  Barry says: The newest Allah Las outing sees the LA quartet absorb and excel at a dizzying range of influences, exploring everything from classic psychedelic rock, hazy Balearic vibes and 12-bar blues to latin percussion, swooning lounge and of course, their trademark swooning indie. It's a triumph of diversity and thematic consistency, and most of all, bloody good fun.

                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                  1. Holding Pattern
                                                  2. Keeping Dry
                                                  3. In The Air
                                                  4. Prazer Em Te Conhecer
                                                  5. Roco Ono
                                                  6. Star
                                                  7. Royal Blues
                                                  8. Electricity
                                                  9. Light Yearly
                                                  10. Polar Onion
                                                  11. On Our Way
                                                  12. Houston
                                                  13. Pleasure 

                                                  Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

                                                  Tracing Back The Radiance

                                                    Some records aren’t as simple as they seem. Most are capsules of beauty and creative vision, or sublime objects of expression which occupy the abstract realms. But the rare few are also discrete philosophies, realised in sound - a truth brought to the forefront by Mexican Summer veteran, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma’s, latest venture, Tracing Back The Radiance. A radical departure from pop drenched melodies which have defined his recent efforts, its experimental forms offer a dynamic rethinking of the terms and possibilities of discourse and collaboration - a vast ambient landscape of abstraction, texture, and tone, beneath which lingers a veiled vision, addressing the challenges of our increasingly disassociated age. A slow, delicate meditation - open space punctuated by the restrained harmonics of vibraphone, processing, flute, pedal steel, synthesizer, piano, organ, and voice, Tracing Back The Radiance grew from a few simple piano lines, a need for change, and an evolving process which fell somewhere between conversation, singular vision, and a wild game of exquisite corpse - Cantu-Ledesma acting as contributor, servant, and guiding force to the emerging album’s all-star cast of voices - John Also Bennett, Marilu Donavan, Chuck Johnson, Gregg Kowalsky, Mary Lattimore, David Moore, Meara O'Reilly, Jonathan Sielaff, Roger Tellier Craig, and Christopher Tignor, each responding and intervening from various corners of North America. With nods to historic high-water marks in ambient and electroacoustic music, as well Italian minimalist pioneers like Gusto Pio, Lino Capra Vaccina, and Francesco Messina + Raul Lovisoni, Cantu-Ledesma delves forward with one of his most ambitious, elegant, and exciting endeavors of his career, retaining every bit of the ease and openness in musical language which has guided him across the decades. A beautiful, immersive, melancholic, and contemplative balm for the troubled times in which it was made. 

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    1. Palace Of Time
                                                    2. Joy
                                                    3. Tracing Back The Radiance

                                                    It was on a mountainside in Cumbria that the first whispers of Cate Le Bon’s fifth studio album poked their buds above the earth. “There’s a strange romanticism to going a little bit crazy and playing the piano to yourself and singing into the night,” she says, recounting the year living solitarily in the Lake District which gave way to Reward. By day, ever the polymath, Le Bon painstakingly learnt to make solid wood tables, stools and chairs from scratch; by night she looked to a second-hand Meers - the first piano she had ever owned - for company, “windows closed to absolutely everyone”, and accidentally poured her heart out. The result is an album every bit as stylistically varied, surrealistically-inclined and tactile as those in the enduring outsider’s back catalogue, but one that is also intensely introspective and profound; her most personal to date.

                                                    This sense of privacy maintained throughout is helped by the various landscapes within which Reward took shape: Stinson Beach, LA, and Brooklyn via Cardiff and The Lakes. Recording at Panoramic House [Stinson Beach, CA], a residential studio on a mountain overlooking the ocean, afforded Le Bon the ability to preserve the remoteness she had captured during the writing of Reward in Staveley, Lake District.

                                                    Over this extended period a cast of trusted and loved musicians joined Le Bon, Khouja and fellow co-producer Josiah Steinbrick - Stella Mozgawa (of Warpaint) on drums and percussion; Stephen Black (aka Sweet Baboo) on bass and saxophone and longtime collaborators Huw Evans (aka H.Hawkline) and Josh Klinghoffer on guitars - and were added to the album, “one by one, one on one”. The fact that these collaborators have appeared variously on Le Bon’s previous outputs no doubt goes some way to aid the preservation of a signature sound despite a relatively drastic change in approach.

                                                    Be it on her more minimalist, acoustic-leaning 2009 debut album Me Oh My or critically acclaimed, liquid-riffed 2013 LP Mug Museum, Cate Le Bon’s solo work - and indeed also her production work, such as that carried out on recent Deerhunter album Why Hasn’t Everything Already Disappeared? (4AD, January 2019) - has always resisted pigeonholing, walking the tightrope between krautrock aloofness and heartbreaking tenderness; deadpan served with a twinkle in the eye, a flick of the fringe and a lick of the Telecaster.

                                                    The multifaceted nature of Le Bon’s art - its ability to take on multiple meanings and hold motivations which are not immediately obvious - is evident right down to the album’s very name. “People hear the word ‘reward’ and they think that it’s a positive word” says Le Bon, “and to me it’s quite a sinister word in that it depends on the relationship between the giver and the receiver. I feel like it’s really indicative of the times we’re living in where words are used as slogans, and everything is slowly losing its meaning.” The record, then, signals a scrambling to hold onto meaning; it is a warning against lazy comparisons and face values. It is a sentiment nicely summed up by the furniture-making musician as she advises: “Always keep your hand behind the chisel.”

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Emily says: Cate Le Bon’s fifth album came together during a period of self imposed solitude in the Lake District. Retreating from L.A. to a mountainside in Cumbria, she spent a year building wooden furniture and penning songs into the night. While writing an album in the woods may sound like a bit of an old singer-songwriter cliché, Le Bon’s offering is far from the soppy acoustic balladry you might expect. Instead, she has produced an album of delightfully unhinged art-pop which reveals the curiosities of her inner world.
                                                    ‘Reward’ retains the off-kilter whimsy which is characteristic of Le Bon’s ever expanding back catalogue. She expertly toes the line between heartfelt sincerity and playful absurdity, maintaining an edge to her songwriting which keeps it from sounding twee. Some of her vocal melodies alone would feel at home in a more conventional pop album, but the instrumentation elevates it to outsider status - discordant stings of electric guitar, metallic synths and an anxious ticking always lurking in the background.
                                                    The slow, stately opener “Miami” builds through a rising dialogue between the vocals, horns and synth which eventually disappears into thin air. Le Bon then takes us on a soft rock jaunt permeated by a sense of distance and longing: “Love you, I love you, but you’re not here”. “Mother’s Mother’s Magazines” spirals into nervy post punk territory, with each instrument locked into a mechanical groove which rolls forwards like a steam train. But it’s the final song “Meet The Man” which shines the brightest lyrically and melodically, ending the album with a heartwarming resolution: “Love is good, love is ancient to me, love is you, love is beautiful to me”.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    SIDE A
                                                    1. Miami
                                                    2. Daylight Matters
                                                    3. Home To You
                                                    4. Mother's Mother's Magazines
                                                    5. Here It Comes Again

                                                    SIDE B
                                                    1. Sad Nudes
                                                    2. The Light
                                                    3. Magnificent Gestures
                                                    4. You Don't Love Me
                                                    5. Meet The Man

                                                    “All anyone wants to be is what they can.”

                                                    After becoming enmeshed in the Los Angeles underground scene after 2013's The End of Comedy, Raw Honey (Michael Collins second album as Drugdealer) sees Collins once again leading an ace crew of collaborators to coalesce the spirit of Drugdealer’s classically modern pop with lush arrangements, memetic melodies, and a vulnerable tunefulness that tries to make sense of self-doubt and connected loneliness in our shared simulacra.

                                                    Raw Honey features contributions of Josh Da Costa (drums), Jackson MacIntosh (guitar), Danny Garcia (guitar), Michael Long (lead guitar), and Benjamin Schwab (backing vocals, guitar, organ, piano, wurlitzer), as well as guest vocalists like country balladeer Dougie Poole (“Wild Motion”), Harley Hill-Richmond (“Lonely”), and frequent collaborator Natalie Mering (Weyes Blood) whose dulcet tones sing low before soaring on “Honey,” a track as silky as the nectar itself.

                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                    Barry says: I can't think of a more appropriate home for Drugdealer than on Mexican Summer, with the jagged psychedelic twists and turns and gorgeous, swaying haze of 70's pop shing through every note played, 'Raw Honey' is by far Collins' most assured offering yet and expands upon his already established palette with stunning songwriting and a few perfectly chosen collaborators.

                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                    SIDE A
                                                    1. You've Got To Be Kidding
                                                    2. Honey
                                                    3. Lonely
                                                    4. Lost In My Dream

                                                    SIDE B
                                                    1. Fools
                                                    2. If You Don't Know Now, You Never Will
                                                    3. Wild Motion
                                                    4. London Nightmare
                                                    5. Ending On A Hi Note



                                                      The verb, the noun, the substance, the action, the command: make a mark! With that, PAINT (guitarist/singer Pedrum Siadatian of the Allah-Las), is making his mark too with his first, selftitled solo record.

                                                      PAINT started by four-tracking his own strange, slow-growing ideas just after Allah-Las third album Calico Review (2016) - fed or led by a certain acid-bitter poetry (Gregory Corso and John Lennon) and the murky music of Kevin Ayers and Syd Barrett. Siadatian found a producer and partner-in-grime in adept cinematic psychedelicist Frank Maston, who instinctively understood these songs would fall apart if scrubbed too roughly in the studio. Now PAINT’s self-titled debut LP has a happily paradoxical finished-but-not-finished-off feel, like Lou Reed and R. Stevie Moore and Julian Cope and Richard Hell, but just the songs that never came out.

                                                      Like “Daily Gazette”: big-city-on-the-skids mid-tempo hot-summer punk blues cool like those Richard Hell/Tom Verlaine Neon Boys tapes. Like “Splattered”: a subway-sound Velvet Underground valentine. Like “Silver Streaks”: budget-studio 1970s expression-as-obsession from the California observed and preserved by demimonde private-press psychedelicists Damon or F.J. McMahon. Like “Wash”: a last-dance cosmic waltz that could’ve been a snippet of an Angelo Badalamenti soundtrack.

                                                      Anyway, this is PAINT, the substance and the action – it drips, it runs, it changes colors. In between: not the desert but the dirt, not the night but the dark, not the sun but the heat and not the sea but the deep, and always the heartbeat blood-rush feel-it! momentum that makes all rock ‘n’ roll rock and roll.

                                                      Think of it this way: PAINT’s first album isn’t always clean, but it’s very very clear. Sometimes the mess is the message.

                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                      1. Intro
                                                      2. Daily Gazette
                                                      3. Plastic Dreams
                                                      4. Moldy Man
                                                      5. Silver Streaks
                                                      6. True Love (Is Hard To Find)
                                                      7. Splattered
                                                      8. Just Passin Thru'
                                                      9. I Didn't Know A Thing
                                                      10. Heaven In Farsi
                                                      11. Wash
                                                      12. Outro/Corso


                                                      Soft Hell

                                                        Soft Hell, Pill’s second full-length album, is a raucous, splintering dispatch from New York City, animated by the madcap ingenuity of a foursome finding a palpable sense of joy and play in expressions of caustic, black humour. Like the contradiction of the album title, which references our acceptance of everyday miseries, it’s a slew of dichotomies, a frenzied cutup. It’s bleeding saxophone and lustrous feedback sounding somehow pastoral, and winking hooks subtly infused with venom. Pill’s lyrics are severe and funny, cryptic and straightforward, but never didactic. They reliably interrogate power. Vocalist and bassist Veronica Torres, a poet and visual artist, has cited as influences J .P. 'The Big Bopper' Richardson and Ian Svenonius, apt references for her wildly expressive range. Atop the clattering rush of opener “A.I.Y.M.” she uses an ambiguous narrator to complicate gendered stereotypes, while “Fruit,” a coolly pulsing vamp, explores the paralysis of political anxiety. “What am I allowed to create or destroy?” she asks in “Power Abuser,” highlighting the inanity of needing to ask for permission. Pill resent complacency, whether in political or creative senses. “For me this band’s about being provocative with sound,” said saxophonist Benjamin Jaffe. Drummer Andrew Spaulding said the album title, Soft Hell, critiques the “work-to-play” cliché of New York life, with its breakneck, competitive pursuit of comfort. Torres added that it evokes sexual bondage, describing Soft Hell as a reference to the cyclical monotony of humans harming one another.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1.Softer Side
                                                        3. Double Think
                                                        4. Dark Glass
                                                        9. Sin Compromiso
                                                        10. Power Abuser
                                                        11.Soft Hell
                                                        12. OK

                                                        Jassbusters is Connan Mockasin’s third album and first in five years. An unclassifiable, unconventional album that neither picks up from nor abandons the modes of 2013’s widely-embraced Caramel or its 2010 predecessor Forever Dolphin Love, Jassbusters foreshadows a five-part melodrama film titled Bostyn 'n Dobsyn, created by Mockasin.

                                                        Jassbusters soundtracks the unpredictable narrative of the film in eclectic, electric ways.

                                                        Whether bending genres or collaborating with artists like James Blake, MGMT, and Charlotte Gainsbourg, Connan Mockasin has always maneuvered in mysterious ways. After touring with the likes of Radiohead and Neil & Liam Finn (Crowded House), the R&B surrealist continues assembling a cult around his theater, nay spectacle of life with Bostyn ’n Dobsyn screenings and Jassbusters performances throughout October and November 2018.

                                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                                        Barry says: Smooth as silk, Connan Mockasin smashes out some softly sung utterances and syncopated jazzy flourishes on his newest LP for the excellent Mexican Summer. Weirdo R&B meets with shimmering lounge and almost-vertical soul in this thoroughly entertaining suite. Brilliant.

                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                        1. Charlotte's Thong
                                                        2. Momo's
                                                        3. Last Night
                                                        4. You Can Do Anything
                                                        5. Con Conn Was Impatient
                                                        6. B'nD
                                                        7. Sexy Man
                                                        8. Les Be Honest

                                                        Jess Williamson

                                                        Cosmic Wink

                                                          A reference to the Jungian idea of synchronicity, or “meaningful coincidences,” Cosmic Wink is as much a reflection on inspired companionship as it is a rebirth. Jess Williamson fell deeply in love, and then her life was uprooted; she left Texas for California, leaving behind the roadworn verses of her previous albums for brighter, bolder songwriting.

                                                          The Byrds-ian jangle of album opener “I See The White” airbrushes halos around the brain with an immortal pop hook. When Williamson asks her listener to “tell me everything you know about consciousness,” it’s an invitation down a two lane blacktop, both vessels heading the same direction.

                                                          The Rhodes-soaked “Wild Rain” begins with a ghostly air until a swell of synths gives way like the heavens parting. Williamson’s voice emerges from the clouds promising that she will “treasure your patience / from you I learned what it means to make a family.”

                                                          Concluding with “Love On the Piano,” Williamson’s new musical and lyrical mind declares “Love is my name now / Love, Darlin” over a revolving acoustic guitar line and lightly pressed upright piano notes. Vulnerability can feel something less vulnerable when love - true, deep love - creates a latticework to hang the frame of our humanity, which in many ways is the message underlying the entire album.

                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                          1. I See The White
                                                          2. Awakening Baby
                                                          3. White Bird
                                                          4. Wild Rain
                                                          5. Thunder Song
                                                          6. Mama Proud
                                                          7. Dream State
                                                          8. Forever
                                                          9. Love On The Piano

                                                          Gregg Kowalsky

                                                          L'Orange L'Orange

                                                            What does the sun sound like? L’Orange, L’Orange, Gregg Kowalsky’s (Date Palms) first solo album in eight years, might have the answer. Its vivid music – sourced from analog synths and mixed on a laptop – arrives in rays of sound that shine skyward. There are many moods in each track, but the overarching aura is one of brightness and optimism. Hence the album title, which nods toward the radiant hue of our life-sustaining star. The warm atmospheres of Miami (his birthplace) and Los Angeles (his home of 3years) infuse the luminous ambience of L’Orange, L’Orange. Kowalsky points to the album’s second track, “Maliblue Dream Sequence.” Its lapping synth waves mirror the time he spent working on the record at a friend’s home in the beachside city of Malibu. But you can hear echoes of blue skies, sun-baked shores, and drifting tides throughout – from the sparkling ripples of “Tuned to Monochrome,” to the rising rhythm of “Pattern Haze,” to the sandy layers of “Ritual Del Croix.” L’Orange, L’Orange isn’t just about brightness and bliss. It’s also about engrossing your mind – creating an omnipresence not unlike that shiny orange orb whose ubiquity defines our days and whose absence fills our nights. For Gregg Kowalsky, music can have that same kind of overpowering effect. The sounds of L’Orange, L’Orange can calm your nerves, warm your mood, and maybe even enlighten your mind.

                                                            STAFF COMMENTS

                                                            Barry says: Shimmering, shifting walls of fuzzy drone, beautiful veiled melodies and soaring hazy pads pull together into a dreamlike fugue, comfortably blurry but beautiful to the end.

                                                            TRACK LISTING

                                                            1. L'Ambience, L'Orange
                                                            2. Maliblue Dream Sequence
                                                            3. Tuned To Monochrome
                                                            4. Tonal Bath For Bubbles
                                                            5. Pattern Haze
                                                            6. Ritual Del Croix
                                                            7. Blind Contour Drawing For Piano

                                                            Ariel Pink

                                                            Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

                                                              Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades.

                                                              Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality.

                                                              Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                              1. Time To Meet Your God
                                                              2. Feels Like Heaven
                                                              3. Death Patrol
                                                              4. Santa's In The Closet
                                                              5. Dedicated To Bobby Jameson
                                                              6. Time To Live
                                                              7. Another Weekend
                                                              8. I Wanna Be Young
                                                              9. Bubblegum Dreams
                                                              10. Dreamdate Narcissist
                                                              11. Kitchen Witch
                                                              12. Do Yourself A Favor
                                                              13. Acting

                                                              DISC 2 (Deluxe Edition Only)
                                                              1. Nighttime Is Great !
                                                              2. Lil' Birdie Told Me
                                                              3. Non-Sequitur Segues

                                                              Ariel Pink

                                                              "Another Weekend" B/w "Ode To The Goat (Thank You)"

                                                                Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include “Feels Like Heaven,” a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, “Another Weekend,” which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and “Time to Live,” an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality. Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

                                                                Jefre Cantu-Ledesma

                                                                On The Echoing Green

                                                                  On the Echoing Green is an elegant work of lush, shimmering sound, rendered with a singular touch by eternal electric romantic Jefre Cantu-Ledesma. In contrast to the haze and hermetic process of previous albums, Green was conceived as a deliberate experiment in clarity and collaboration: “I was interested in trying to bring out more overt pop elements, to let them come to the front and be present. I also have more trust now in letting things happen – trusting other people’s musicianship, and being open to people’s ideas. Eventually, things emerge.” What emerged from this bond are eight rapturous and richly melodic slow dives of swirling guitar, bass, synthesizer, piano, and drum machines, dramatically accented in places by heavenly arcs of voice courtesy of Argentinian singer-songwriter Sobrenadar. Cantu-Ledesma encouraged chemistry and intuition in the studio by beginning the album without any demos for reference; he and his collaborators pursued patterns and hypnotic textures across long-form improvisations until gradually songs began to take shape. This is music of growth and grandeur, of ascent and exploration, played with purpose and passion by a craftsman in tune with the beauty of sound and the harmony of light. In his words: “[This album] feels like spring – things coming alive, blooming, emerging from winter.”

                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                  1. In A Copse
                                                                  2. A Song Of Summer
                                                                  3. Echoing Green
                                                                  4. The Faun
                                                                  5. Tenderness
                                                                  6. Vulgar Latin
                                                                  7. Autumn
                                                                  8. Dancers At The Spring
                                                                  9. Door To Night



                                                                    Sorcerer is the first full-length studio album from Andy and Edwin White, the Florida / New York duo known as Tonstartssbandht (tahn-starts-bandit), since 2011’s Now I Am Become. On Sorcerer, the brothers chart a heavenly course above the storm and stress, one explored over years of touring and a poetic language forged between performers and siblings. Sorcerer offers three long form depictions of Tonstartssbandht’s boundless spirit; ambitious noise rock narratives buoyed in a swampy sonic scene of delay, distortion, and virtuosic interplay. The album displays larger lyrical concepts within the framework of a guitar and drums duo; Andy's guitar and vocal loops creating a cascading sheet of interpretative reverb and future melodies, Ed's high-stakes drumming divided every which way but loose, a deep canvas of cohabitating sounds. Associated artists: - Andy is a hired guitarist for Mac DeMarco - Edwin has a project called EOLA

                                                                    Riding on a cloud of smoke, psychedelic travelers Shadow Band make sounds that move like foggy dreams from fantastical lands. Their patient but powerful songs set in motion a series of refracting echoes that call forth images of medieval battles, spirits unseen by human eyes, and the gentle, constant pulsing of the universe. The band formed organically around the songwriting of Mike Bruno, a quiet figure whose vibrant mental landscape is the center of the group’s orbit. Growing up in New Jersey, Bruno immersed himself in a self-made world of gloomy sonic alchemy, honing his songcraft as a solo act in New Brunswick's small-but-dedicated freak scene. The early years saw Bruno attracting a rotating cast of area heads around his growing arsenal of songs and dubbing it Black Magic Family Band. The sprawling web of artists varied with every gig and recording session, but the roots of Shadow Band started here. Sonically, the homespun production mirrors the communal environment in which they were made. Layers of murky instrumentation congeal into a singular sound, with strange stringed instruments, theremin vibrations and buried percussion all washing by as a solid alien texture. Songs melt into one another to the sound of distant birds and pagan pan flutes only to rise up in swells of unholy synth.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. Green Riverside
                                                                    2. Endless Night
                                                                    3. Shadowland
                                                                    4. Eagle Unseen
                                                                    5. In The Shade
                                                                    6. Indian Summer
                                                                    7. Morning Star
                                                                    8. Mad John
                                                                    9. Illuminate
                                                                    10. Darksiders' Blues
                                                                    11. Daylight

                                                                    Natalie Mering, the being behind Weyes Blood, embeds her sublime song in a harmonic gauze of arpeggiated piano, acoustic guitar, druggy horns, & outer space electronics. Propulsive, spare drums carry us across the album’s course.

                                                                    There is a faded California beauty to Front Row. A gentle honesty that recalls the finest folk music made on the West Coast of the ‘70s. The hue hangs in the sweet-spooky harmonies, the pulsing sway of the vibrato & the ecstatic chord resolves. But this beauty is scratched with shadow; with dark foreboding, alienation, & acceptance of change. Love & loss balance together in suspended alchemy, as the earthiness of the singer-songwriter tradition wears digital sounds like feathers in its hair. Mering, together with co-producer Chris Cohen contrasts live band intimacy with the post-modern electric sheen of A.M. radio atmospherics. The experimental flourishes sparkle amid the succinct, thoughtful arrangements.

                                                                    The closeness of this record - how personal, alone, & frank it feels - conceals its aspirations to the outside, to the "Earth" of its title. Weyes Blood harbors devastating weight while also universalizing the strange ways of identity & relationships. These are not typical love songs or protest songs -- they are painful, poignant riddles that celebrate the ambiguity of love & affirm the conflict of harmonious life within a disharmonic world.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. Diary
                                                                    2. Used To Be
                                                                    3. Be Free
                                                                    4. Do You Need My Love
                                                                    5. Generation Why
                                                                    6. Can't Go Home
                                                                    7. Seven Words
                                                                    8. Away Above
                                                                    9. Front Row Seat

                                                                    Calico Review shows a band that’s grown confident enough in its own style to reflect the perspectives of each member, & craft an album that changes up the approach from song-to-song, while retaining their abilities as a cohesive unit.

                                                                    “Strange Heat,” reflects a control & character that burns off of the band’s knack for restraint. Songs like “Famous Phone Figure” cradle character sketches over delicate strains of violin, organ, & Mellotron, Matthew Correia’s drumming carefully underlining a three-note theme that casts a phantom sadness over the proceedings, the group exerting a touch both light & steady enough to bring your mood to theirs.

                                                                    “Could Be You” works off a steady percussive gallop, guitarist Miles Michaud waxing reflexively on second chances while the band focuses on forward motion. “Roadside Memorial” applies the Bo Diddley beat to the open road, Pedrum Siadatian stepping up on vocals, & finding new ways to match his talents to propulsive musical ends. Elsewhere, “High & Dry,” features Correia on lead vocals, focusing on their most quintessential & peerless quality: writing emotionally resonant pop, at once direct & detached, casual & knowing, & instantly memorable. The dream factory itself gets called out in the fun, surf-stung number “200 South La Brea,” its carnival-like atmosphere reflecting the excitement & anxiety of those who await their judgment.

                                                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                                                    Barry says: With hints of rock and/or roll, 70's pop and modern twee indie, Allah Las are a band that defy at least ten expectations before even getting out of bed. Each one of these pieces has an understated elegance and confidence that we haven't heard from them before. Songs like 'Could Be You' are more driven and rocking while 'Famous Phone Figure' is a Wurlitzer swirled Floydian delight. The changes don't end there, but i'll leave the rest a surprise.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1: Strange Heat
                                                                    2: Satisfied
                                                                    3: Could Be You
                                                                    4: High & Dry
                                                                    5: Mausoleum
                                                                    6: Roadside Memorial
                                                                    7: Autumn Dawn
                                                                    8: Famous Phone Figure
                                                                    9: 200 South La Brea
                                                                    10: Warmed Kippers
                                                                    11: Terra Ignota
                                                                    12: Place In The Sun

                                                                    Convenience skids like a garbage truck with no brakes, barreling through passages of guitar chording bent at the wrong angles and ring-modded riffs aligning with Benjamin Jaffe’s expressive sax before splitting apart into chaos. Veronica Torres assumes double-duty between vocals and bass, while Jon Campolo plays three instruments in the live setting and Andrew Spaulding four, including circuit-bent noise rigs of their own invention. Veronica’s words are delivered with the speed and frenzy of someone with their life on the line, but she’s also able to slow things down in a gesture of dominance, confidence, and trust. This band is wise enough to know that safety is fleeting, so they take their digs when and where they can.

                                                                    Given Pill's backgrounds, their music advances a notion of what the punk spirit of NYC might be: the capture and distillation of the energy and friction that comes from living amongst so many people in such a confined space. The idea seeds in free jazz and improvisation; reached adolescence in galleries and loft spaces in the ‘70s; found politics in squats and independent spaces; and it grows stronger the more these several sensibilities are practiced ands stewed. Call them No wave, post-punk, noise; they are immune, content to head off in a direction of their own design.

                                                                    TRACK LISTING

                                                                    1. 60 Sec.
                                                                    2. Which Is True?
                                                                    3. My Rights
                                                                    4. Fetish Queen
                                                                    5. Dead Boys
                                                                    6. J-E-N-O-V-A
                                                                    7. 100% Cute
                                                                    8. Sex With Santa
                                                                    9. Speaking Up
                                                                    10. Vagabond
                                                                    11. Love & Other Liquids
                                                                    12. Medicine 

                                                                    Torn Hawk

                                                                    Union And Return

                                                                      Union and Return is the third album from Luke Wyatt’s Torn Hawk. It was composed and recorded entirely by Wyatt at his home in Berlin and is inspired by painters like Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Caspar David Friedrich. Here. Wyatt parts the gauze that shrouded his former work to reveal a lush and ornate set of compositions -- elegantly orchestrated, awash in unguarded emotion.

                                                                      Having spent years working with gritty production techniques, Wyatt seems refreshed and restored by the possibilities of definition and detail. Many tracks were initially composed on piano and then painstakingly fleshed out into final form. The feel is spontaneous, rather than labored, and the pieces possess an organic and grid-less grace. On album opener “The Romantic,” the flow of ideas is natural, seamlessly transferring melodies and themes from voice to voice, instrument to instrument. Orchestral arrangements give way to layered guitars, smeared pads and collaged digital detritus.

                                                                      While the record luxuriates in subtle, delicate dynamics, Union and Return is just as disruptive as anything in his back catalog. Tracks like “Feeling is Law” and “Die Swimming in the Sea Here” supply a full-bore tenderness that can be uncomfortable, especially for those projecting a policed gruff or “masculine” image. This disruption is key to the music’s intent - gentle music as a tough gesture.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      1: The Romantic
                                                                      2: Feeling Is Law
                                                                      3: Borderlands
                                                                      4: Thornfield
                                                                      5: With My Back To The Tower
                                                                      6: Friends & Family
                                                                      7: Scene On A Staircase
                                                                      8: Our Knives
                                                                      9: The Archers
                                                                      10: To Miss The Mark
                                                                      11: Die Swimming In The Sea Here 

                                                                      Plaza is the third album by Quilt; a name implying a meeting place, a crossroads, a coming together. In the space of ten songs, Plaza clarifies Quilt’s musical stance of a congregation, mixing folk, pop-psych, and wanderlust into a common ground where each form takes on the characteristics of one another to create something wholly satisfying, styles and sentiments hand in hand, the purest and sharpest distillation of Quilt’s group aesthetic to date.

                                                                      On Plaza, Quilt has pivoted their sound on a new foothold. The guitars shimmer, squawk, warble, swell, and tense up. The organs and synths flow in the background as mood-enhancers. The drums dig in a little deeper. We hear flutes and harps, a string quartet, grand pianos and Casios, feedback and distorted violas. Among all these sounds the group’s shared and solo vocals showcase some of the strongest lyrics and hooks the band has made to date.

                                                                      Plaza showcases a tighter, more concise version of Quilt, particularly as the members have learned to encourage each other’s strengths and allow each other to confidently exist as distinct voices cooperating within a very intimate creative space; their songcraft has tightened up, their singing now crystal clear, vis á vis personal experiences of loss, frustration and isolation.

                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                      1: Passersby
                                                                      2: Roller
                                                                      3: Searching For
                                                                      4: O’Connor's Barn
                                                                      5: Eliot St.
                                                                      6: Hissing My Plea
                                                                      7: Something There
                                                                      8: Padova
                                                                      9: Your Island
                                                                      10: Own Ways

                                                                      Soldiers Of Fortune

                                                                      Early Risers

                                                                        Soldiers Of Fortune started back in August 2004 as an ANTI-BAND! The idea was - instigated by Brad Truax - to put together a cracked mercenary “dirty dozen” type of outfit, who were never gonna write songs, never gonna practice, never gonna record music, make any product for public consumption or ever hit the road! Enter Mike Bones, who lit a fire under our asses and a show was booked again, then another, then another. Labels started sniffing around and offers were made. Of course, at the time we thought accepting any offer would be signing our death warrant for all we stood for as the ANTI-BAND, so we declined all offers. We fell back in the studio and recorded a dozen embryonic 'song ideas', rather than jams, over an afternoon. We then called up friends who know how to sing and finished up the damn thing in like three days. Beyond the core troupe consisting of Brad Truax (so many bands, but dude, Interpol?), Kid Millions (Man Forever, Oneida), Barry London (fuck yeah Oneida), Matt Sweeney (Chavez being his LEAST well-known operation should tell you something), Jesper Eklow (Meandering Tedium, sorry, Endless Boogie), Mike Bones already, and the elusive Papa Crazee (heavy early riser in team Oneida) we abused the superior vocal stylings of our Healer, Shaman and Answer CLARK "YEREMIAS" BRONSON, STEPHEN MALKMUS, CASS MCCOMBS, DAN MELCHIOR, ETHAN MILLER and MATT MCAULEY.

                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                        1: Nails
                                                                        2: Cinnamon Man
                                                                        3: Campus Swagger
                                                                        4: Old Roman Wall
                                                                        5: Dog Tooth Down
                                                                        6: Pure Shame
                                                                        7: Santa Monica
                                                                        8: Fatigues
                                                                        9: Kall Mi Kaos
                                                                        10: Which



                                                                          Tamaryn’s first two full-lengths (2010’s The Waves and 2012’s Tender New Signs) stood out in a crowd of shoegaze/ethereal revivalists as much for what they were (careful, gorgeous, thrilling tapestries of guitar-based textures) as what they weren’t (simplistic, trendy, disposable signposts made to be broken). With Cranekiss, Tamaryn emerges from her past in a way that’s inviting, warm-blooded, and shockingly direct. She’s made a big record, loaded with samples and synth triggers, the result of long nights grinding it out at the Brooklyn studio Gary’s Electric,on her own and with Weekend’s Shaun Durkan, and producer Jorge Elbrecht (Violens, Lansing-Dreiden).

                                                                          With Cranekiss her sonic palette has exploded with maniacal abandon, pressed into service of a post-adolescent love letter to all the music that she and her collaborators hold dear, drawing influences from the feelings that fell out of her. Lyrically, this is Tamaryn’s most personal collection of songs to date, and Elbrecht has placed her voice front and center across the entire record. Cranekiss explores dark rock, dance pop, and glistening melancholy with a uniformly commanding presence across it all, in stormy, unsettled brushstrokes that apply pressure behind Tamaryn’s words.

                                                                          Cranekiss represents a long journey, and a new phase - a blood-red kaleidoscope of desire and late night abandon, a bold step forward.

                                                                          TRACK LISTING

                                                                          1: Cranekiss
                                                                          2: Hands All Over Me
                                                                          3: Last
                                                                          4: Collection
                                                                          5: Keep Calling
                                                                          6: Softcore
                                                                          7: Fade Away Slow
                                                                          8: I Won't Be Found
                                                                          9: Sugar Fix
                                                                          10: Intruder (Waking You Up) 

                                                                          No Joy

                                                                          More Faithful

                                                                            More Faithful' is No Joy’s third full-length for Mexican Summer, and bears the fruits of a band that redefined its work ethic in the gulf of time between recording sessions. The outcome – the juxtaposition of unrest and calm, beauty and chaos, truth and fantasy, in the throes of dimmed amps and hair-whipping guitar goddess rock music – is as unwavering as ever.

                                                                            But where 'Wait To Pleasure' (2013) balanced textural differences with the freewheeling novelty of the studio environment, 'More Faithful' documents a much more rigorous creative process and performance, one in which the group pushed themselves to new peaks of intensity. All of the record’s 11 songs, in whole or in part, jump at the listener with atypical tunings and key changes, tension from odd time signatures and an upfront rhythmic presence, and the force demonstrated in their live show.

                                                                            Listen to More Faithful then listen to it again. There is no question that it’s the most forward, throttling record No Joy has made to date, taking their set of influences to the wall in a brazen display of beauty-laced power. At times it’s heavier than anything they’ve done yet, and also their fastest, riffs shooting upward in discord and drifting down in angelic harmonies. Shoegaze and ethereal and alternative rock revivals be damned; More Faithful pushes No Joy to the breaking point. They’ve leveled up.

                                                                            Travis Bretzer

                                                                            Waxing Romantic

                                                                              Waxing Romantic is the debut album from Canadian artist Travis Bretzer. Hailing from Edmonton, Alberta, 24-year-old Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour, Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing. On his debut EP Making Love (Mexican Summer, 2013) he managed to touch on the new-pop of Orange Juice, the playful idiosyncrasies of Prefab Sprout, with a freewheeling sensibility present in much of the Stiff Records catalog. Above all, Making Love displayed some truly sophisticated songwriting that belied its occasionally haphazard bedroom production and casual delivery.

                                                                              On Waxing Romantic, Travis has stepped up the production in a big way, graduating from the bedroom to a full studio environment. Recorded at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn and produced by Jorge Elbrecht the new environment has allowed for Travis' songs to be taken to new, fully-realized heights.

                                                                              The move to the studio also feels very in keeping with the sonic inspiration Travis had for the album, which came in part from memories of rifling through his parents' soft-rock LPs: think Gerry Rafferty, Al Stewart, Christopher Cross, The Eagles. With their warm drums and smooth, clean studio sound informing Travis' sonic palette, it makes sense that Gary's Electric became the venue for the album recording.

                                                                              'It sounds like pina coladas and an afternoon spent woozily wandering around, slightly tipsy from said cocktails, hand-in-hand with a beautiful partner in crime.' Noisey

                                                                              ‘Travis Bretzer’s music has the effect of transporting listeners into a cloudy, ether-effect chamber, like Doctor Who scouring the skies while on valium. Nostalgia swims around, with melodies sharp enough to survive any decade.’DIY

                                                                              Torn Hawk

                                                                              Let's Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time

                                                                              'Let’s Cry And Do Pushups At The Same Time' is the most recent statement from Torn Hawk aka producer and video artist Luke Wyatt. It's difficult to neatly categorize Wyatt's genre-refracting productions. The nuts and bolts are built from live guitar, drum machines, junky synths, and layers of samples which are smeared into a cohesive whole. Wyatt's guitar moves between the meditations of Manuel Göttsching, the jangle-grid of The Chameleons and the saturation of Medicine. Throw in the melodrama of a sax on a Don Henley hit, and you get a better idea of Torn Hawk's playfully sincere sensibility.

                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                              1: I'm Flexible
                                                                              2: She Happens
                                                                              3: Afterprom
                                                                              4: Return To The Pec Deck
                                                                              5: Acceptance Speech
                                                                              6: Because Of M.A.S.K.
                                                                              7: Under Wolf Rule
                                                                              8: There Was A Time

                                                                              Jorge Elbrecht

                                                                              Coral Cross - 001

                                                                                Coral Cross - 001 is the first release of a new metal project helmed by Jorge Elbrecht (Lansing-Dreiden, Haunted Graffiti, Violens). Described by Elbrecht as "choral thrash," the music is simultaneously blurry and fast paced, blistering single-note guitar lines layered over with barely-audible cathedral harmonies. It's another turn stylistically, following both his collaborations with Ariel Pink ("Hang On to Life" and "Called to Ring") and the electronic A/B-side with Chairlift's Caroline Polachek. The first track "The Coldest Steel Across Your Face Slides" rips forward with a meat-slicing, bay area thrash-style intro riff, recalling bands like Exodus or Testament, but with much less attention to production detail.

                                                                                Instead, some passages on Coral Cross - 001 sound like they may have been recorded on a portable cassette recorder. B-side "With a Lancet" follows more of a pop song format, with a chorus that dives into depths of depressive tremolo-picking guitars and drums that strobe and flicker like a decapitated airplane propeller post-crash.

                                                                                The Innocents is the name of the second album by southeastern Pennsylvania’s Natalie Mering, who performs as Weyes Blood. Its ten songs confront us with a vocalist of rare choral purity; lyrics so emotionally unflinching that they could pierce stone; music rooted in American and British folk, then pulled and stretched at its fringes, like a sweater that’s just begun to unravel.

                                                                                As you sift through her words, you’ll feel something, and you’ll associate those feeling with past experiences that may cause you to associate them with something more, something that affects your own emotional state. The Innocents is akin to the most primal form of expression: elements laid bare, deeply connected to the past, and miles away from anything else you’re likely to hear in music today.

                                                                                “Weyes Blood isn’t making anachronistic music, but rather blending psychedelic synthesizers, rock drums, and vocal layering effects to produce something that only could have been made today.” – Fader

                                                                                “Drawing from the androgynous folk-rock vocals so characteristic of early ’60s and ’70s outsider folk singers like Vashti Bunyan and Sibylle Baier, Weyes Blood’s Natalie Mering never hesitates to dive head-first into complex and mature arrangements.” – Fader

                                                                                “…her quavering alto, which floats above an intriguing mix of conventional instrumentation and electronics, tape collages, and delay effects to create a compelling update of '70s psyche-folk.” – Nylon

                                                                                "Hang On" finds Mering released from these ghostly gates—its her most pronounced track to date, and one that more directly recalls her 1960s British folk touchstones.” – Pitchfork

                                                                                “Singing at once with vulnerability and strength through an austere, multi-layered warble, Mering searches for truth and light while facing the end of something.”– Pitchfork

                                                                                “Hang On,” its first single, sounds like a tweaked and adrift version of ’60s folk music.”– Stereogum

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1: Land Of Broken Dreams
                                                                                2: Hang On
                                                                                3: Some Winters
                                                                                4: Summer
                                                                                5: Requiem For Forgiveness
                                                                                6: Ashes
                                                                                7: Bad Magic
                                                                                8: February Skies
                                                                                9: Montrose
                                                                                10: Bound To Earth

                                                                                Acting as a respite from the celebrated strains of modern Australian underground music, Lower Plenty manage a deconstruction of folk music like none other: unsettled, unforgiving, unconcerned with what came before or what’s to follow. Acoustic guitars shuffle in and out of phase with one another, double-tracked vocals hover above in careful meter, brushed snare rattles the very frame of their sound, and then everything shifts again, and again. Comfort’s not long here, though beauty is maintained; melodies start sweet but turn inward, wane nostalgic and wax without resolve.

                                                                                Life/Thrills is the Melbourne group’s third full-length, and their collective experience will leave you thoroughly unprepared for the beautiful confusion suggested by these ten songs, which seem to have the power of slowing and even stopping time. Suitable comparisons to this music are as disparate as early Cat Power, Arab Strap, the Shrimper roster ca. 1992, the Sun City Girls, and the late ‘60s/early ‘70s output of the Red Crayola, but as with much truly original music, Lower Plenty resists direct comparison and defies expectation. Their shambling, discordant presence will relieve you of any preconceptions – this is one best experienced alone, as the sun fades into the horizon for the night.

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1: Waiting On A Tram
                                                                                2: Calculations
                                                                                3: Life/Thrills
                                                                                4: Took A Trip
                                                                                5: Concrete Floor
                                                                                6: On The Beach
                                                                                7: Jealous
                                                                                8: Go Down
                                                                                9: You Pushed Me
                                                                                10: Lots Of Lows

                                                                                The legacy of North Carolina’s Ashrae Fax seems destined to be appreciated in retrospect, in no small part given to the tremendous power of the group’s 2003 release Static Crash!, reissued twice from its initial CD-R run before appearing on Mexican Summer last year.

                                                                                The Goth/ethereal duo of vocalist Renée Mendoza and producer/guitarist Alex Chesney had built a long, strange and mostly undocumented legacy prior to that release, and Never Really Been Into It extends the tale back even further: ten songs, sketched out in the late ‘90s, most of which were never completed and remained unheard until now.

                                                                                Rescued from a shoebox of ephemera from the band’s earliest days, when Mendoza and guitarist Alex Chesney drifted out of high school and into the uncertainties of early adulthood, these songs were the product of a band whose members had nothing but time and ambition, influence and desire to transcend their humble beginnings. Pieced together and re-recorded in 2013 by Renée in her home studio, from mere stems and forgotten takes preserved on decades-old minidisc recordings, the songs reflect disquiet, uncertainty, absolute beauty, along teenage obsessions with The Cocteau Twins and The Cure, refracted through the lens of latter-day experience – pristine musicianship, gorgeous vocals, cryogenically frozen until now. Had these songs been properly released when initially conceived. First new record in over 10 years

                                                                                For Fans of: Lush, This Mortal Coil, The Cure

                                                                                TRACK LISTING

                                                                                1: Dreamers Tied To Chairs
                                                                                2: Chkn
                                                                                3: The Big Lie
                                                                                4: Fits And Starts
                                                                                5: Decaax
                                                                                6: Hurricanes In A Jar
                                                                                7: You Make Me Question My Mind (In A Thousand Words About Time)
                                                                                8: Intexus
                                                                                9: Seconds Chances
                                                                                10: In Motion

                                                                                La Hell Gang

                                                                                Thru Me Again

                                                                                  Thru Me Again is the 2nd release from Chilean trio La Hell Gang and their first with Mexican Summer. Hailing from Santiago, which plays host to an ever growing psychedelic scene (Holydrug Couple, Follakzoid, La Banda, etc), the band create a remote and wild brand of rock ‘n' roll. The eight tracks across Thru Me Again weave seamlessly, channeling heat, light and endless desert dunes.

                                                                                  Despite the heavy context, there's a real clarity in the production, making the blistering guitar solos and mirage-like vocals all the more potent. Tracks like "Inside My Fall" and "Last Hit" recall bands like The Black Angels and BRMC, but some of the more lucid moments ("Sweet Dear", "So High") feel like a grittier Brightblack Morning Light. The soundtrack for your heat swept summer.

                                                                                  The Fresh & Onlys

                                                                                  House Of Spirits

                                                                                    The Fresh & Onlys’ fifth album, House of Spirits is the San Francisco quartet’s most focused and most experimental yet.

                                                                                    The seasoned ensemble’s fiery feel and careful arrangements run throughout, but it also privileges The Fresh & Onlys’ experimental tendencies. There’s violent, churning guitar noise between gospel-like vocal interplay for “Bells of Paonia” and an ominous drum machine pulse underpins the unsettling finale, “Madness,” a track that inspired Miles to throttle his guitar with a power drill in the studio for what he calls “a sort of Einstürzende Neubauten moment.” As Cohen relishes mystery, camps out in dreams and hones his singular approach to glistening pop with sinister undertones, perhaps “Madness” speaks best to the Fresh & Onlys’ essence. The material gestated during vocalist Tim Cohen’s isolated stay on an Arizonan horse ranch where he documented dreams in a bedside notebook. The resultant songs are by turns pristine, feverish, and bizarre, as The Fresh & Onlys returned to Lucky Cat Studios in San Francisco with Phil Manley (Trans Am) to recast the textures, leaps of logic and evocative character of Cohen’s dreams into songs.


                                                                                    Held In Splendor

                                                                                      Following their 2011 self-titled debut on Mexican Summer, Quilt return with their sophomore album 'Held in Splendor'.

                                                                                      'Held in Splendor' is an audacious pop-rock record with cascading harmonies and billowing textures, punchy rhythms and snarled guitars, wonderful depth and resplendent peaks. “Mary Mountain” takes hazy Summer of Love memories on a mid-summer road trip in a gleaming muscle car. “Tired & Buttered” invites Booker T over for an energy-addled jam in the garage. “The Hollow” twinkles like Fleetwood Mac and Galaxie 500, with sweet singing backed by the lap steel sighs of young acoustic guitar star and longtime Quilt pal Daniel Bachman.

                                                                                      Held in Splendor is an album of personal poetry and public questions, confessions and aspirations—really, these 13 tracks are their own playground, brimming with the sort of unapologetic energy and wonder that turns simple songs into absolute anthems.

                                                                                      “handmade and stitched-together, as though its creators were sifting through a collection of musical hand-me-downs and collating the bits that spoke to them into something new" - PITCHFORK

                                                                                      “A classical approach to music and an appreciation for the age-old practice of chant and melody with a slight lean toward the weird and experimental" - FADER "A fresh take on well-worn folk rock textures, instilling a bit of color into vintage grooves." – STEREOGUM

                                                                                      Freewheeling Brattleboro, VT rock/folk wonderments the Happy Jawbone Family Band bring their latest full-length to Mexican Summer. What they’ve entrusted us to give to you represents their finest and most directly fulfilling effort to date.

                                                                                      The energy and humor of early releases remains; that band you may have loved before has grown even stronger and more potent, its songs now monuments to individualism, to longing, to happier endings resulting from imperfect circumstances.

                                                                                      Binding folk, indie rock and pop forms together is easy enough; it’s what this band does with them, how it builds its sentiments and bursts preconceptions, that put them in a place where these musicians can rest, comfortably above and apart from almost every band working in this same terrain today.

                                                                                      We’re hearing the trippiest moments of the Beatles, Lindsey Buckingham at the peaks he reached on Tusk, and both poles of American post-punk songwriting royalty, Camper Van Beethoven at one end and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 at the other. Try it on.

                                                                                      “Happy Jawbone's disturbed take on whimsy and rebellious, youthful spirit recalls lo-fi stables, Elephant 6 and K Records” - Pitchfork

                                                                                      "something truly defining” - The 405

                                                                                      "beautiful psych-punk creation” - Ad Hoc

                                                                                      TRACK LISTING

                                                                                      1. Everybody Knows About Daddy
                                                                                      2. I Have To Speak With Rocky Balboa
                                                                                      3. D-R-E-A-M-I-N'
                                                                                      4. The Green Light
                                                                                      5. Hans Christian Andersen's "The Little Mermaid"
                                                                                      6. Stay-at-Home Soldier
                                                                                      7. Can't You Hear Me Ticking
                                                                                      8. Do You Want Me
                                                                                      9. Mr. Clean
                                                                                      10. I'll Never Go Skin Deep Again
                                                                                      11. I Don't Wanna Dance Tonight

                                                                                      Travis Bretzer

                                                                                      Making Love

                                                                                        Hailing from the isolated climes of Edmonton (Alberta, Canada), 23 year old Travis Bretzer has an appropriately singular, off-beat take on guitar pop. An adroit songwriter and true troubadour,Travis sidesteps easy pigeonholing - his breezy, classic songs touching on the new-pop of Orange Juice, the playful idiosyncrasies of Prefab Sprout, with a freewheeling sensibility present in much of the Stiff Records catalog. There's a truly deft, sophisticated streak through Travis' songwriting that belies its occasionally haphazard production and cheeky, casual delivery.

                                                                                        After purchasing his first guitar as a teenager with savings from his scuzzy movie theatre job, Bretzer formed a band, The Subatomics, with his best friend. They taught each other how to play and honed their craft supporting a range of touring bands, as well as in their own ramshackle local shows. These days Bretzer spends his days writing jingles and goofballing on a local radio station - a day jobbefitting of his knack for penning perfect melodies and ear-wormy hooks.

                                                                                        "Forget the food courts and GAP megastores, Edmonton has a new jewel in their crown." "On debut EP teaser ‘Trying To Learn’ – a title indicative of Bretzer’s self-deprecating manner – he drawls verses about feeling elderly in his youth with a sweet and hopeful air; not so much Mac (Demarco), more like an embodiment of the C86 movement." - Line of Best Fit

                                                                                        The debut album from this Atlanta-based five-piece is certainly not easy to pigeonhole. Shifting seamlessly from taut post-punk to lush 60s balladry, and starry-eyed guitar pop to moody guitar squall, VPI Harmony is the sound of a band meticulously studied in their influences, and unafraid to expand, combine and re-imagine the sounds of their musical loves into their own signature package.

                                                                                        Take for instance the way album opener "Dark Flow", whose lilting guitar notes and stately drum rolls drifts with floaty falsettos straight into the tightly wound, breathy lead single "Pathos y Lagrimas", replete with glossy guitars and an air of sexy mystery. Or the way in which "Promise Me" switches from peppy, Sarah Records jangle into dreamy girl-group heartbreak in under a minute.

                                                                                        Moving from the loose, lo-fi quality of their debut EP Sweater Weather Forever in 2011, VPI Harmony was recorded, mixed and mastered in-studio at Gary's Electric in Brooklyn. The upgrade has done wonders for enhancing the band's sound, and helping to fully realize and emulate their seemingly encyclopedic knowledge of pop production.

                                                                                        TRACK LISTING

                                                                                        1. Dark Flow
                                                                                        2. Pathos Y Lagrimas
                                                                                        3. Come Lay Down In Lined Arrangements
                                                                                        4. Perusha
                                                                                        5. Minor Slaloms
                                                                                        6. Promise Me Eternity
                                                                                        7. The Line
                                                                                        8. Exorcised Painting
                                                                                        9. Hollow Dye (Defected Crystal)
                                                                                        10. Get Lost
                                                                                        11. Charles Mansion

                                                                                        Lace Curtain

                                                                                        Falling / Running

                                                                                          Limited Edtion: screen printed single sleeve jacket.

                                                                                          Lace Curtain is a new project from Australian wizards Mikey Young, Dave West and James Vinciguerra. The trio, who are involved in a myriad of punk and garage bands including Eddy Current Suppression Ring, Total Control and Rat Columns, veer in an entirely new direction on this 12" for Mexican Summer. Each side shows the band approaching electronic music with a diverse interpretation that encompasses elements of disco, krautrock and synth pop.

                                                                                          From the outset those drum machine patterns are locked in tight, boosted by deep, pummelling synths and basslines that could seemingly play out for eternity. Young's vocals drift in and out of each track, cloaked in a foggy club ambience that only further enhances this release's air of nonchalant cool.

                                                                                          Turning Shrines

                                                                                          Face Of Another

                                                                                            THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2013 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                                                                                            The one-sided 7" from Jorge Elbrecht and New York-based Tamaryn features a cover of Turning Shrines "1/4 Circle Black" - a track which almost feels tailor-made for Tamaryn's brand of lush shoegaze.

                                                                                            Mexican Summer is excited to re-release this rare 12" EP from Turning Shrines, uniquely accompanied by a 7" from Jorge Elbrecht featuring current Mexican Summer signee Tamaryn.

                                                                                            Turning Shrines was one of a handful of projects from revered electronic artist Fred Giannelli, perhaps best known for his work with Psychic TV and under other aliases including Kooky Scientist and Acid Didj. Turning Shrines was a trio made up of Giannelli, Neal Sugarman and Leslie Asako Gladsjo. Temple Records (Psychic TV’s own imprint) released Face Of Another in 1984, followed by one LP Cinnabar and Porcelain in 1988 -the second and last ever official release from the project.

                                                                                            After meeting the founder of Temple Records in Boston in 1984, a 24-year-old Fred decided that he would document his development as as musician and music producer and finance an actual record of his own! material. Fred had also done! extensive live sound for various bands in Boston area clubs since 1980 and was working in a recording studio throughout the early 80s learning the craft. The four tracks which make up Face of Another showcase the early fruits of this craft - ghostly vocals and reverberating guitar swirls, all held together by Giannelli's unmistakeable synth work.

                                                                                            500 Copies for the UK

                                                                                            Spectral Park

                                                                                            Spectral Park

                                                                                              We bring you Spectral Park’s debut full-length under the auspices of pop brainchild Luke Donovan, who played all of the music (and records) on the record. These are songs borne from the trash, literally sourced from a box of records the Southampton multi-instrumentalist found on a walk by a council block’s curbside garbage. Donovan chopped them up and fed them through his sampler, warped, pitch-bent snippets of notes, rhythms and loops spanning disparate portions of musical history. Then he started recording live instrumentation and heavily-treated vocals over them, creating a gritty, noisy, yet wide-eyed dive into manic, ‘60s psychedelia, clear-eyed flower child reveries of reverberation and pop chaos.

                                                                                              Spectral Park is a collection of songs that serve as reflections of a fractured year full of joys and sadness, a jumble sale of ideas and moments that work together, dancing and exploding off of one another. These songs lunge off the record, bursting with breakneck tempos and infectious, soaring melodies, sounding as if they are ready to shatter under all of the energy rattling inside. Moreover, they offer a unique and exciting view into a reconstructed musical past, one that brings bygone eras of mind expansion and infinite human potential back within reach.

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              1. L'appel Du Vide
                                                                                              2. Ornaments
                                                                                              3. Nausea
                                                                                              4. Lows
                                                                                              5. Colours
                                                                                              6. Shells
                                                                                              7. Filler #54
                                                                                              8. Still
                                                                                              9. Cut
                                                                                              10. Get You Gone
                                                                                              11. The Thief's Journal
                                                                                              12. Generation Loss

                                                                                              The Soft Pack

                                                                                              Strapped - Bonus Disc Edition

                                                                                              Both formats include a free CD bonus disc "Unstrapped", featuring 4 tracks.

                                                                                              The Soft Pack are back with 'Strapped', an adventurous album that finds the Los Angeles-based foursome breaking with expectations and exploring the possibilities of how they can push their sound. In making it, the group took to heart a quote from the sage Pasadena thinker David Lee Roth that goes something like: “The first rule of rock & roll is if it sounds good, it is good.”

                                                                                              The Soft Pack’s history begins in 2007 when Matt Lamkin (guitar/lead vocals) and Matty McLoughlin (lead guitar) started a band in their native San Diego. By the following year they’d added David Lantzman (bass) and Brian Hill (drums). The four of them soon moved up to LA, went on a bunch of tours, and coalesced into The Soft Pack.

                                                                                              Following the two and a half straight years of touring that came both before and after 2010’s self-titled release on Heavenly Recordings (Kemado Records in the US), the band were burnt out but determined to take control of their future. They decided to self-produce their follow-up, which will be released by Kemado’s sister label Mexican Summer. During the previous sessions for their self-titled album they developed 12 songs and recorded all of them - 10 of them made it to the album, the other two became B-sides. In contrast, while making Strapped they created 80 demo ideas, recorded 30 full songs, and then picked their 12 favourite ones for the album, no matter how far out they were.

                                                                                              The group also took their time while making Strapped, making it over the course of two years. This pace allowed them to integrate new ideas and approaches into their existing sound. The Soft Pack’s pop rock foundations are undeniably still present - nine of the songs don’t break three minutes and from the first seconds of glorious album opener “Saratoga” it’s obvious they haven’t abandoned the fuzz. That said, they’ve also spent a lot of time listening to Denim, Momus, The Church, YAZ, Grace Jones, INXS, Carole King, Lee Hazelwood, The Byrds, and Elton John. “Bobby Brown” is an icy new wave number, whose saxophone solo is just one of several horn appearances on Strapped. For “Head on Ice,” they layer on the dark atmospherics and capture a spiraling sense of doom. Maybe the most surprising cut on Strapped is album closer “Captain Ace,” a jubilant space cruiser that jams out to nearly the seven-minute mark…. Enjoy the ride!

                                                                                              TRACK LISTING

                                                                                              1. Saratoga
                                                                                              2. Second Look
                                                                                              3. They Say
                                                                                              4. Tallboy
                                                                                              5. Bobby Brown
                                                                                              6. Chinatown
                                                                                              7. Ray’s Mistake
                                                                                              8. Oxford Ave.
                                                                                              9. Everything I Know
                                                                                              10. Head On Ice
                                                                                              11. Bound To Fall
                                                                                              12. Captain Ace

                                                                                              Bonus Disc Tracklisting:
                                                                                              1. Cruisin' Bruce
                                                                                              2. Densmore's Gone
                                                                                              3. Haven't Got The Means
                                                                                              4. You're Fine

                                                                                              Home Blitz

                                                                                              Frozen Tracks

                                                                                                Six more tracks by The Coolest Band In The Tri-State Area. Daniel DiMaggio is living in the big city now and as the driving force behind Home Blitz, he keeps the rhythms crazier and the feelings more nervous than ever, having fully adopted the restless jangle of Hoboken '81, the working-class anger of London's East End in the mid '70s and the starry-eyed wonder of the Sunset Strip in '78. If they align most closely with the sort of bespectacled guitar pop-in-the-wake-of-punk that gave rock critics the chills way back when, it's because that's where the heart of this music resides, the thrill of excavation and discovery of an era before one's own, the one that speaks to you the most clearly. There is real love in these songs, five new originals and a reverent cover of Game Theory's "Rolling With The Moody Girls."

                                                                                                Pink Playground

                                                                                                Destination Ecstasy

                                                                                                From Houston, TX comes Pink Playground, a new band that makes videos instead of playing live, and runs in the tradition of shoegaze and ethereal sounds right back to the earliest Jesus and Mary Chain demos. Guitars, synths, otherworldly vocals and drum machines collude to the proto-noise pop moment of the mid ’80s, and charges forth as if the band’s members were born to play in that vein. Ear-splitting volume and spun sugar melodies fill the space with pink pollen blizzard dynamics so thick and hazy you might need a dust mask to power through them, songs so sweet that they sting, manners inverted into a new form of aggression.



                                                                                                  Listening to their self-titled debut, it's no surprise that the members of Quilt came together out of a shared love of visual art. While their music is steeped in timeless qualities like the gorgeous harmonies on "Milo" or the twinkling guitar on "Utopian Canyon," the entire record is full of expansive, cinematic moments. Each song can be enjoyed independently, but taken as a whole, the record becomes a world of its own: guitars drift languidly, keys sparkle in and out, often following their own threads into the stratosphere, with vocals that are at once powerful and intimate.

                                                                                                  Andrew Graham & Swarming Branch

                                                                                                  Andrew Graham's Good Word

                                                                                                  Graham's first release since the dissolution of RTFO Bandwagon, the elegantly primitive Columbus, OH folk band that most recently released "Dums Will Survive" (March 2009) on Texas' Dull Knife Records. While RTFO Bandwagon heavily reiterated the elements already present in Graham's guitar frameworks with the bass, drums, and even the vocal melodies, Swarming Branch takes a more delicate approach. Throughout "Good Word", each instrument plays only one note at a time, freeing up space in the mix and ensuring that every note is intentional.

                                                                                                  To realize this detailed new sound, Graham brought in drummer Ryan Jewell (Terribly Empty Pockets, Pink Reason, Psychedelic Horseshit) and piano wizard Dane Terry. A number of other musicians come and go over the course of the record, including bassist Chris Burney (the Sun) and experimental composer Larry Marotta on slide guitar.

                                                                                                  TRACK LISTING

                                                                                                  Side A:
                                                                                                  I Stole The Lime
                                                                                                  Seasonal Delicacies
                                                                                                  Red Light Green Light Is A Game For Schoolchildren And I Can't Believe We're Playing It Still
                                                                                                  Meatloaf At The Steakhouse
                                                                                                  A Little Bit On The Way Out

                                                                                                  Side B:
                                                                                                  A Little Bit On The Way In
                                                                                                  Take It Easy On Kathy At Least She Can Dance
                                                                                                  The Grindstone Kid
                                                                                                  Fenwick Island Update

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